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America’s Renewed Cry For Civil Rights: Racial Profiling While Shopping At New England Based BIG Y Store A Dilemma For People Of Color


There are a growing number of race related social issues currently dominating mainstream media in the United States that stem primarily from police involved killings of unarmed young black men. The brash of unfortunate incidents that resulted in no criminal charges having been lodged against police officials involved in these killings, has garnered tremendous outcry from a growing intolerant American public who see such use of force as excessive and an abuse of authority. Protest have emerged from all across the nation from Missouri to New York, and have some wondering how such incidents of racial divide are beginning to resurface in this country at a more alarming rate since the height of the Civil Rights Era in America.

In all of the protest occurring around our nation, it should be noted that there is a large contingency of white Americans who are as equally outraged at the persistent justification for the killing of unarmed black men by law enforcement officials. While minority support from whites have almost tripled since the 1960’s, there remains an organized systemic practice of racism in just about every aspect of the American culture. Gone are the days of “Old Jim Crow,” whose system of segregation gave birth to “For Whites Only” signs. Sadly though, many of the same racial practices still exist but are now very subtle and covert.

Many people of color are aware of the burden they face by often having employees from local retail establishments follow them around the store while shopping. These kind of practices feed into a stereotype that all black people are thieves. Black youth also give insight into their exposure to being profiled and harassed based solely on race, when describing how merchants require large groups of black kids to come in the store one at a time so that they can be watched/monitored easier, and to prevent the possibility of the youth shoplifting from the establishment. The mindset towards black consumers as potentially being shoplifters still exist, and in some instances more prevalent today in a volume of subcultures within our society.

My own recent experiences at a New England based Big Y Supermarket in Connecticut is a constant reminder of how black consumers are often perceived socially and in many instances, unfairly profiled based on race. My suburban home is seated in the northeast section of the town of Bridgeport, which intersects with neighboring town lines of Trumbull and Stratford Connecticut. For background purposes I share some brief history of these communities. Both communities have storied past of race related incidents and other social strife. The town of Trumbull’s police department was investigated by the United States Department of Justice for racial profiling of black motorist frequenting their town when predominately black schools visited their local high schools for sporting events. Some how it was discovered that the towns’ police issued traffic citations at a disproportionate rate, when schools from predominately black communities were scheduled to play Trumbull High teams.

A few years ago, a black city alderman was arrested by Stratford police, who say the official obstructed justice in the arrest of a black female who was a minor. The alderman claims that he only intervened after witnessing a white police officer punch the black teenager repeatedly in the face. The incident led to protest and a rally at Stratford town hall, and many requesting that the community simply heal from such racial divide. That aside, Stratford’s police department, just like Trumbull’s have a reputation of being highly visible and active, especially when issuing traffic citations to blacks and other minorities.

Despite these towns’ history, many blacks continue to frequent their communities as consumers to shop at their business districts. Big Y supermarkets opened a location in Stratford several years ago. The acquisition was seen as a positive for the neighboring towns, while grocery shopping presented another option that would be closer to home for local residents. It was apparent immediately that management of the establishment had adopted a policy of monitoring black shoppers who frequented the store. There was a lot of following and racial profiling going on that became so noticeable, that many believe complaints to the company’s upper management may have led to an onslaught of black employees being hired to accommodate a very visible minority patronage to the store. Upon Big Y’s grand opening, the establishment didn’t employ a single black person (during normal business hours at least) at the Stratford location.

As time went on many of the store’s employees became familiar with shoppers of all ethnicity, and the following of black shoppers around the store subsided, in my personal opinion. A black store manager was even hired and brought in. I had the occasion of meeting the black manager and developed a report with him regarding product request and other matters related to the shopping experience within the store. Another manager (white) was brought into the store, and I noticed that he began to follow me around the store. Some have asked how did I know that the manager was following me and I had to advised them that I have a law enforcement background, and have actually had to follow people on the job while working for private investigation agencies. In short, my point was that I have practical knowledge of when a person is being followed.

Although the following by the manager was very annoying, I just remembered what my mother use to teach my brothers and I. She taught us that if we were not doing anything that we weren’t supposed to be doing, then we shouldn’t have any concerns if someone followed us, and she would tell us to just ignore them. The very fact that I encountered teachable moments from my childhood regarding incidents of being followed around retail establishments coupled with having experienced similar incidents as an adult, in my mind is just simply incredulous, and depicts the very systemic and long standing culture of racial profiling of black consumers while shopping demonstrates essentially the very premise of this matter that I have been trying to convey in my commentary for this article.

I recall one incident in particular that drew the first complaint from me to store management for being followed, where the subject manager appeared to be tracking my movement in the store. I was looking for an item and had the intuition to simply look up, and when I looked up I saw the manager peeking around the corner of the end of the aisle at me. Confused by what I had just observed, I began to wonder why a store manager would be paying such close attention to me shopping. Keep in mind I had the feeling on several occasions prior to this incident that this particular employee was following me around the store, but I had consistently ignored him like I had been taught from my childhood. To make certain that I wasn’t imagining things, I purposely began to walk across various aisle in the store observing whether the manager continued to follow me, and with no exaggeration I can honestly say with absolute certainty the manager tracked me for several aisles in the store.

When I patronized the store the very next morning I consulted the black manager about it and advised him what had occurred the previous day while I was in the store. After I gave a description to the manager regarding the employee who I believed had followed me, the manager and I concluded that we were discussing the same person who was actually new to the Stratford Big Y store. The black manager and I discussed the following incidents that I believe was occurring just about every time I shopped in the store. I advised him that I have worked in law enforcement/security/loss prevention for over 20 years, and that I also was a former Maryland State Corrections Officer. I also advised him that my significant other was a local college professor and teacher at a City of Bridgeport Public High School, and that many of the young cashiers were in fact her students. My inquiry to this manager was simply for the purpose of establishing for him that we were a well known family in the community, and also working professionals.

Our dialogue about my experiences in the Stratford store sparked a conversation where he shared with me how he and his wife had been racially profiled at an election balloting center recently, and appeared genuinely apologetic about my disturbing shopping experience in one of their stores, because he could empathize with such an apparent racially motivated encounter as a black man himself. When our conversation concluded I was resolved that perhaps the new manager simply needed exposure to the multi racial clientele of the store to become more acclimated with regular customers. So, I let the incident go. However, being followed around the store didn’t end. I began to speak with some of my neighbors who I knew shopped the Stratford Big Y, and heard similar stories about being followed around the store. I believe that my perception of a racially motivated culture did in fact exist in the Stratford grocery store and became fully cemented in my mind, when an experienced female employee who had been employed with Big Y stores for years shared with me that the company appears to have managers who are not familiar working with black or latino people.

Upon hearing her perspective I began seriously evaluating whether or not I wanted to discontinue my patronage of the establishment, but the store’s location was so close to home that we decided our shopping convenience was far more important than the annoyance of some bigot working as a store manager at our local grocer. However, my personal position has always been that a person holding such a leadership role, while potentially manifesting traits of racism, could in fact influence the social dynamic of how the company’s employees and customers alike, interact with each other. He could tell employees to monitor a customer as a potential thief for no other provocation other than the fact that he himself is just simply a racist.

My concern has always been that following a person in any retail business by a company employee isn’t very intelligent, and very well may be a potentially dangerous situation. My personal and practical knowledge of managing retail stores during my post collegiate days, affords me tremendous insight into the particulars of monitoring individuals who may directly impact the store’s shrink through theft. Following a potential shoplifter in the fashion in which I have described in my narrative many times has caused incidents that place employees and customers in harms way. My employment with the Batta Shoe Corporation resulted in me being placed at a volume of stores that were also located in high crime areas. I recall individuals who were known to police as junkies (drug abusers) that shoplift my store on a regular basis, and on one occasion a store associate ran after the shoplifter. The individual turned toward the employee in pursuit of him with a syringe.

Many drug addicts are also known to have HIV or AIDS due to their use of dirty needles or syringes. That incident was a valuable learning experience for me and my entire staff. While store employees should never chase after thieves who shoplift, my personal philosophy has always been to train store employees to keep a lot of distance between potential shoplifters and themselves for their own personal safety. The manager who followed me around the Stratford Big Y is in my opinion an extremely foolish person. Had I been a sick junkie desperate to score merchandise to sell for my drug addiction, his very close surveillance of me could have caused me to act violent in an attempt to exit the store an avoid capture for shoplifting.

Additionally, I question why a manager would physically follow a person around the store. Most corporate or larger retail establishments have in place state of the art security surveillance systems that are in many situations monitored remotely (centralized security consoles for the entire company). It seems to me that a person who has been identified as a potential shoplifter or thief, the manager would contact it’s loss prevention department to alert them of the situation. I mean after all, they are the individuals professionally trained and best to handle those kinds of potentially dangerous incidents. The part of this entire ridiculous ordeal that bothers me the most is the fact that I am a Big Y Discount card holder. My name, address, and telephone number are all in the store’s database somewhere. If I had actually been caught shoplifting, it seems to me that the store management could show the surveillance footage to police, and have them knock on my front door. I don’t know, but maybe the thousands of hours that I have worked monitoring CCTV, PTZ Cameras, and other video surveillance equipment for over two decades doesn’t actually qualify me as a Security expert.


Retail workers have been trained since the beginning of time that the best deterrent to thieves, shoplifters, and other undesirables in a retail setting, is monitoring from a distance to insure public safety, and excellent customer service. When store employees provide customer service to potential shoplifters they typically leave, because the last thing a shoplifter wants is to be noticed or identified. When employees greet customers at the entry point of any business, it establishes that store personnel are aware of your presence. Instead of following people, perhaps walking up to individuals deemed as potential shoplifters and asking if you can help or assist them with finding a product, it may serve dual purposes (actually assisting a customer by providing customer service and alerting bad guys that you are aware of their presence) That way, store employees might actually develop a report with their customers, scare of anyone who isn’t in the store actually making a purchase, and will avoid customers becoming annoyed and freaked out by being followed for no apparent reason by store personnel.

Since none of these tactics were ever used by this manager or any of the other store employees following myself and other black people (that I am aware of) around the store, it creates a dilemma determining why such practices are being utilized by Big Y employees. What do they plan to do if they ever catch somebody shoplifting? Are they going to tackle them in an aisle in the store, or chase them out of the building while knocking some old lady down in the process, who is just trying to purchase groceries? I can’t offer an explanation for why I have experienced this kind of treatment at a grocery store, but it sends a powerful message to me and others who may have been treated similarly by this store manager. I believe the message is that “we are not welcome” as a shopper in that establishment. Perhaps the manager has the mentality that if black customers are harassed enough, then we won’t come back, and I believe that posture is indicative of the social culture of towns like Stratford.

The final straw came yesterday when the subject manager followed me around the store all the way to check out. At the register, he stood at the end where the soda machines and other impulse sale items are usually placed, and pretended to be looking for something or straightening items. Once I completed my purchase, he walked away toward the courtesy counter. When I contacted Big Y’s Customer Service Department, I was told that the matter would be investigated. Later on I was offered the explanation that security surveillance cameras showed the manager was in fact at my register, but he was simply looking for an available register to pay for his lunch. Now, when I was given this rationalization I knew that it was in fact fantasy at best. The customer service manager who spoke with me didn’t have the vantage of viewing the surveillance footage from that register at the time of my purchase, by her own admission, and it was obvious that she was just repeating what she had been told by loss prevention.

At the time of my purchase I was the only person in line and I only had a bottle of coffee creamer and a head of fresh lettuce. If the manager wanted an expedient place to checkout his items for purchase, he could have gotten in line directly behind me. He didn’t, and after I made my purchase he walked away toward the customer service desk. The fact that my intelligence was insulted by a customer service manager, in my mind explains why employees with such racist behavior are even employed at this company. Perhaps the company has a policy of racial practice? To add insult to injury, the customer service manager tried to do clean up work, stating that the manager “was almost flabbergasted by the allegations.” I was requested to contact the manager upon my next visit to the Stratford Big Y, because the manger wanted to buy me a cup of coffee. I was assured that the manager wasn’t like that, and that he was very sorry.

Well, the old politics routine doesn’t work with me. I’ll decline the olive branch, and I don’t need the manager to buy me a cup of coffee, but rather I would prefer that he and his employees simply treat me and other people of color in the same fashion in which he treats his white customers. That would be sufficient enough. To gauge how my efforts of contacting Big Y’s customer service department worked out for me, I went to the Stratford store early this morning, only to have the exact same manager look at me strangely, appear to be engaged in conversation with other employees while looking my way, and follow me again in the store. Although the following this time wasn’t conducted with the same close surveillance, it was more delayed, but the manager and the employee he was talking to, both soon and quickly found their way to the portion of the store where I was. I was there speaking to another black patron about my notification to the store’s customer service about racial profiling, when the employee who the manager was talking to suddenly appeared at a display table close to our location. He didn’t appear to be there for any legitimate purpose (just stood there with his back away from us), other than to make his presence known. I alerted the other customer to him and we both observed him and just laughed in amusement. Then moments later, the manager came from the opposite direction, engaged us with direct visual contact without saying a word, and just walked by (again for the purpose I believe to just make his presence known). We laughed some more.

However, I must remind you that this is the exact same store manager who had allegedly offered the “olive branch” by supposedly wanting to purchase me a cup of coffee. A complaint was made to the company’s customer service department regarding his potential harassment of black consumers shopping his store and what does he do? The very next morning he encounters two black customers, and he doesn’t even offer a simple salutation of “good morning.” He just walks by like we didn’t even exist. I believe this particular manager is in fact a person who has difficulty interacting with minorities. The manner in which I would have handled this situation would be a great suggestion for any retail business. I would have made it a point to deliberately project a more friendly demeanor to all customers, in an effort to eliminate the possibility of anyone being able to charge me with discriminating against them. I filed the complaint of racial profiling and harassment, and the manager had a golden opportunity, to at least change my perception of him, and he blew it. He can be the most racist person in the world on his on time, but when he is representing a business that I and other minorities patronize he has to display absolute tolerance because it’s not personal, it’s a business.

Black people have experienced this kind of treatment as consumers while shopping in businesses all over this country. The Federal Government may have established laws prohibiting this kind of discrimination, but racism in America still exist, and people have learned traits of racial discrimination that has been instilled within them since their earliest stages of human development. These situations tend to resolve themselves when bigots attack or harass the wrong person, and in this instance at least, they have managed to discriminate against a person with the resources and a voice to publicly expose such sickening and racist behavior, on a global stage. My best resolution now is to simply find another grocer. As one relative put it, “it might be inconvenient, but on the other hand the company shouldn’t be permitted to profit from harassing me.” This is my message to people of color who patronize Big Y stores.

The People’s Champion
I’m David Adams

Making State Prosecutor’s Case In The Phylicia Barnes Murder Mystery: Why Wasn’t Crucial Circumstantial Evidence Presented In Previous Trials Against Michael Johnson?

The Conowingo Dam in Northern Maryland: Where the nude body of Phylicia Barnes was found, and possibly the location Danisha McIntosh was referring when she tweeted, "It's trapped at the dam.

Just over three years ago after I obtained a volume of text and post from social media accounts of Michael Johnson, his brothers and cousins, and some of their friends, I composed the below attached article. (The Phylicia Barness Story: Johnson Males Tweets & Location On December 28 Are A Scary Coincidence And May Close This Murder Case). The information came primarily from some of my fellow Websluethers (a crime sluething community that seeks to solve serious crimes through various unconventional methods, such as the use of psychics) and others from within the public, who spent hours looking through various social media accounts of the very people who were close to the late Phylicia Simone Barnes around the time that the 16-year-old honors kid had gone missing.

The article itself is very chilling and offers some very intricate details related to the whereabouts during late morning hours on the day she disappeared, and social media activity of people that many within the public widely believe were involved in the promising teen’ demise. Tweets from twitter accounts show that early in the morning on December 28, 2010, Glenton “Bootz” Johnson, a younger brother of accused killer Michael Johnson, was riding in a car near Rolling Road in Baltimore County. The tweet also illustrates that “Bootz” mentioned a person by the name of “Ease” accompanying him in the car, and that the pair had been smoking marijuana (“put some grass in the hooka”), were under the influence, and tweeted complaints about Rolling Road traffic being congested (“just busy for no damn reason”). This indicates that the pair were in some sort of a hurry to get to some unknown destination. Additionally, strong evidence indicates that the person name “Ease” riding in the car with “Bootz” on the morning of 12/28/2010 was in fact Michael Johnson.

A short time later “Bootz” began to post violent tweets about beating a female (“****dat or fuck that, don’t tell her twice, whoop her ass”). The tweet was made just 7 minutes before accused killer Michael Johnson had reportedly told police when he last saw the teen alive at 1:30 p.m. that day. “Bootz” also tweeted about loud music which was a coincidence, because the apartment where young Phylicia had been staying was discovered with the front door ajar and loud music playing inside, and Phylicia Barnes nowhere to be found.

Many of the Johnson clan members went completely off of the social media grid altogether for much of the next couple of hours, only to emerge later with “Bootz” tweeting about the tempature being hot at a location he didn’t disclose. His tweet was followed up with a warning from their older brother Glenn Johnson, who cautioned them to watch what they tweet because the police were watching (“the man is watching”). What kind of activity were they involved in that would cause concern of being detected by police officials? All of what I have described this far is highly circumstantial, but a stronger and much better circumstantial case than the one that state officials have previously tried to mount against Michael Johnson for the killing of Phylicia Barnes.

Additionally, a very compelling tweet which came exactly one month after Phylicia Barnes disappeared may indicate that Barnes was still alive on January 28, 2011. A girlfriend of a Johnson cousin Dorian Carpenter made suspicious tweets about someone crying out side of her door. She tweeted get away from my door with all of that noise and crying. She later tweeted that day “it’s trapped at the dam. don’t pull the lever.” Was the girl’s remarks about someone crying outside her door referencing a distraught Phylicia Barnes who may have been crying and pleading for her life? The tweet is the single most tangible piece of evidence against the Johnson clan, because the nude decomposed body of young Phylicia Barnes was found at the Conowingo Dam in Northern Maryland almost three months later. It is, and has always been my position that the tweet referencing a dam by an associate of the very people who were initially interviewed by police surrounding the disappearance of Phylicia Barnes, is extremely problematic, compelling, and should have closed this murder case a very long time ago.

The female friend of Dorian Carpenter also made suspicious tweets on December 28, 2010 as well. On the day that young Phylicia Barnes went missing, the female tweeted to Dorian Carpenter, asking “Ya’ll need us to roll out?” This indicated that perhaps Dorian and at least one other person may have been engaged in some sort of activity that the female and who ever was with her might not have wanted to be a witnesses to. The fact that the prosecutor’ office never included any of these details during either of the summations which were made in both criminal trials against Michael Johnson, is not only suspicious but almost seems like a crime has been committed by the police themselves. Have you read the article? You decide. You tell me if sufficient evidence existed to pinch the bastards who killed this child?

All along there has been tremendous outcry from the court itself that the case against Michael Johnson was based on a theory, and that perspective from Judge Alfred Nance, nearly caused him to toss the case altogether during the initial trial. There may not have been any physical evidence which would link Michael Johnson to the child’s killing, but strong circumstantial evidence does exist that not only implicates Michael Johnson, but perhaps some of his family members, and others who may have only participated in the crime after the fact, to aid in the conspiracy to cover up the murder of young Phylicia Barnes. I don’t care what the judges or state prosecutors have to say, it’s there. It is all there. The evidence is there to prove that Michael Johnson and members of his family may have all been complicit in the killing of the Barnes teen.

To drive the point home even further, the volume of circumstantial or coincidental factors in this case that point to the real killers is just simply to overwhelming to dismiss. If prosecutors can prove that Michael Johnson’ nickname is “Ease” which he reportedly acquired from an Xbox game tag, then it is fairly easy to conclude that on the morning of December 28, 2010, Michael Johnson was in fact riding along in a car with his younger brother Glenton “Bootz” Johnson, smoking marijuana, and appeared to be in a hurry to get to some destination. With these two riding together in a car very close to the proximity of the apartment where Phylicia was staying, it’s compelling that the tweets which “Bootz” made regarding beating a female, just 7 minutes prior to the time period in which Michael Johnson told police he last saw Phylicia alive at 1:30 p.m., the state shouldn’t have any problem at all making the case before a jury that the female he was talking about was in fact an uncooperative Phylicia Barnes.

It is interesting to note that police should have checked the Geo tracking of Glenton’s cell phone, and the location during the time where certain tweets were made. I can’t help but to wonder how close was Glenton in relationship to the apartment where Phylicia reportedly had gone missing, at the time he made the tweet about whooping a female’s ass? It is quite possible that Michael and his younger brother, who both may have been under the influence of marijuana, could have acted violently against Phylicia Barnes that could have resulted in her death. Glenton’s tweet about whooping a females ass was made at 1:23 p.m. on the day she went missing. Glenton tweeted again at 1:29 p.m. referencing speakers (or music), and didn’t tweet again until just under two hours later hat day. When he tweets again at 3:24 p.m., his tweet talks about a location which is very hot in tempature. The oldest Johnson, Glenn Johnson then tweets a warning to watch what you tweet “the man is watching.” The cops have to be asking themselves where was Glenton during the two hours he had fallen off the twitter grid and hadn’t made any communication for nearly two hours. Where does GPS tracking show the phone’s location, or was it even on?

Glenn Johnson’ warning to Glenton indicates that he knew his kid brother’s location, what his activities possibly were, and was concerned that he would tweet something that could implicate him or result in a negative outcome based on some criminal activity that was occurring. Another element of this entire case that has always bothered me was the rather convenience it would have been for Johnson to travel to the Conowingo Dam in Northern Maryland, from the apartment where he was staying with his girlfriend near Rolling Road at the time Phylicia Barnes disappeared. Take a look at the map below:

Map Quest image depicts the area where Glenton Johnson made tweets on Rolling Road and the near straight shot to the Conowingo Dam where the body of Phylicia Barnes was discovered.

Map Quest image depicts the area where Glenton Johnson made tweets on Rolling Road and highlights the near straight shot to the Conowingo Dam in Northern Maryland where the body of Phylicia Barnes was discovered.

It doesn’t take rocket science to compile these circumstantial elements together to begin pointing the finger of guilt in the appropriate direction pertaining to those who are responsible for this child’s murder. When you look at the significance of a female friend of potential suspects who were interviewed by police related to the Barnes teen disappearance, having made tweets about a dam 3 months before the child’s nude body was discovered at an actual dam in Northern Maryland, sharply indicates that the case must hinge completely of the development of such a powerful discovery. It’s a “no brainer” that details of Phylicia Barnes’ location had been disclosed, and that the girlfriend of Dorian Carpenter (a Johnson Cousin) had advanced knowledge of the actual location of the teen’ body. However, state prosecutors handling the Phylicia Barnes murder has never made any of these facts known to two seated juries in the case. It’s a very disturbing, unexplained, and simply unconscionable reality related to the Barnes murder case, and the criminal justice community within the Maryland State Circuit Court system as a whole.

To Be Continued ..

The People’s Champion
I’m David Adams

Remembering Vanessa “Honey” Malone: Slain Georgia Youth 21st Birthday Approaches Without Justice


When the clock strikes twelve midnight this upcoming Sunday February 8, 2015 it will be a very somber time for the Malone family. A time for remembrance and a time for prayer. It will be a prayer that Flora Malone has made constantly over the past few years. A simple prayer that would bring justice for her slain child. It’s the only thing any grieving parent could hope for, that the cowards who shot down their baby girl in the back, and without provocation, would some day be captured and brought before the courts of this civilized land. The family has always hoped that some one would come forward and help solve this brutal cold case murder.

The name Honey, evolved as the hash tag #justiceforhoney resonated coast to coast in America as far west as the state of California, and as far east as Vermont, and abroad. The killing of a hundred pound teen girl who was shot in the back appeared to stir the moral consciousness of people all over the world, who for a moment in time stood in solidarity against the culture of violence, and violence agains young woman in particular. Yet, “Honey’s” killing brought her tragic story international acclaim, while her own hometown of Stone Mountain Georgia continues struggling to obtain any cooperation from the public aiding the police in their efforts to solve this senseless and very heinous crime.

What stands in the way of closure for all who knew and loved this promising young woman, are two very different perspectives about the culture of criminal behavior. While “Honey’s” grieving family are certainly entitled to justice which would include severe penalties for those responsible for her murder, by contrast there are people within our society who are numb to the kind of carnage that plagues the streets of America, and continues to snuff out the lives of young people with females becoming a greater percentage of those who have been tucked away in body bags by the Coroner.

Often times frustration settles in when those who have lost loved ones conclude that cops are inept and aren’t trying diligently enough to find those responsible for violent crimes. In some instances those perceptions have merit, but when we look at the cultural practice of how various communities fail to do their part by providing essential information to help solve crimes, it sends the message that the community where such violence exist, is in fact condoned by the community in it’s entirety. The murder of “Honey” is a case study on how communities fail to help themselves. When our daughters are now being targeted in violent crimes of this nature, it doesn’t take rocket science to conclude that a grass roots effort must be enacted to deter such criminal behavior in our communities. It’s time for the light bulb to go on in communities that traditionally have had high crime activity. The cops are only as effective as the support they get from the community. As much as I hate to admit it, and considering the poor community relations of the police, it’s simply true that they need our help.

We have to change our thinking as it relates to crime, and if the death of Vanessa “Honey” Malone can make any impact on the social development of humanity, it should be that crime on it’s face is an undesirable element in our communities, but the brutalization of young women should not be tolerated under any circumstance whatsoever. Some of the bi-products of crime are those who put pressure on others by labeling anyone who gives cooperation to police as being a “snitch.” Ignorance is bliss, and most people wrongfully apply the term “snitch” related to criminal activity. For example, if a loud noise awakens me in my bed a night and I get up and look out my bedroom window and see two unfamiliar people breaking into my neighbor’s car, and I call the cops on them, that’s not snitching. Am I suppose to just get back in bed and conclude that it’s not my car and none of my business? On the other hand, if I were one of the two people breaking into the car and I was caught by police, but my accomplice got away and I told the cops who he was along with where he lived, then that’s a “snitch”.

It’s usually a ghetto mentality when people have no concern what so ever as to what kind of activities are occurring within their community, especially if they have kids. It’s common sense to want to rid your neighborhood of those who bring it down. The very mentality of people attempting to intimidate others with terms like “snitcher” evokes and identifies those possess cultural incompetence, while also establishing those who may potentially be criminals or who at the very least condone such behavior. Imagine if you lived in an apartment complex that appears to be this clean and peaceful like the image below. Would you want people living there who have a propensity for violence?


It is essentially incomprehensible that the residents of such a community like the Hampton Village Apartments captured above would allow the killing of a young woman in such a brutal fashion and result in no one having ever come forward to give police information. How is it even possible for 4-6 mask gunmen to kick in the door of an apartment in this development and the commotion doesn’t arouse anyone within the entire community? Not only that, but the people who were with “Honey” the night she was killed say that she walked in on a home invasion in progress, became alarmed and tried to flee the apartment. The intruders shot her in the back outside of the apartment, brought her back inside, and nobody heard a thing. That’s a f&^%ing lie, and the cops know it. I am wondering if the cops ever tested for DNA or hair fibers on “Honey” to determine if any trace evidence was transferred from the perpetrator to “Honey” when he brought her back inside. If the crime went down in the fashion that the witnesses have told the story, it’s just hard to imagine that no evidence was ever detected.

The lack of momentum in the Vanessa “Honey” Malone murder speaks volumes about the kind of people who live within the development where the crime occurred. Some say that the rent is very affordable nowadays because crime has driven a volume of families out. People have simply opted for the pursuit of a better life elsewhere, while the streets remain silent on the “Honey” killing. Images of discarded home furnishings thrown about on the grounds and other unfavorable depictions are now more common within the confines of a once very scenic community that has now given way to a culture of crime and violence. So many variables exist as to why her case hasn’t been solved. The more common rationale is that the cops don’t care because it’s yet another violent crime within a predominately black community, and if the people who live there don’t care then why should the police.

Other factors that may be the cause of her case not having been solved may be related to the fact that Malone was biracial, physically attractive, and very popular. “Honey’s” mom Flora Malone previously conveyed to TPC that her daughter was possibly being targeted by her teachers at her school. Malone says she visited the school on several occasions to address issues she believes may have been unfair actions toward her daughter by instructors at “Honey’s” school. The problems at school aren’t believed to have been related to the teens killing, but it offers a closer look at some of the social strife the teen had endured, which also may be a direct result as to why no one has helped the young woman’s family with solving her murder. While some reject that her killing was potentially due to her mixed race, the cops should be looking at every potential angle to establish why anyone would want to harm a popular teen that many say was well liked.

The story about “Honey” having walked in on a home invasion while it was in progress has never made sense, and any logical thinking person would have to conclude that the likelihood of 3 other people (all adults) actually having survived a home invasion encounter with violent thugs of this nature, while the person who posed the least amount of threat to them was murdered is simply unbelievable. The killers were there lying in weight (if you even believe that fishy story) for “Honey”. It’s obvious because they were all masked (according to the survivors), and “Honey” wouldn’t have been able to identify them, so there really was no need to have to kill her if they were concerned that she could finger them. The cowards killed this kid for some unknown reason, and a great place to start looking to find out why is with the three survivors who all miraculously lived to tell this extremely suspicious story.

We’ve been on radio broadcast, televisions, conducted demonstrations, handed out flyers, solicited T-shirts supporting this slain teen, and nothing as worked thus far. After a brief chat with “Honey’s” mom last night, I have to concur with her current posture which she conveyed, “these cowards have gotten away with killing my daughter for too long”. All of us aren’t capable of possessing the unique spirit of compassion or the emphatic ability to even care about the lost life of others, but I implore you all to embrace the reality of a heinous crime like this happening to your child, your sister, your mother, or any female close to you. Would you care then? R.I.P Honey #justiceforhoney

To Be Continued ..

The People’s Champion
I’m David Adams

The Phylicia Barnes Killing Is Officially An Unsolved Murder Mystery: Did Michael Johnson Get Away With Murder?


Disturbing news began to make it’s rounds throughout social media today that Michael Johnson had been set free after all charges against him were dropped pertaining to the Phylicia Barnes murder case. Baltimore Circuit Court judge Anthony Howard dropped all charges against Johnson while he wrote that the case against Michael Johnson was “unarguably circumstantial” and while the case was in fact intriguing, it contained “no direct evidence” linking Johnson to the killing of Phylicia Barnes. The decision by judge Howard was the third and perhaps most crucial blow to prosecutors who argued that Johnson was in fact the child’s killer.

Johnson who has been locked up since his 2012 indictment was actually convicted of second degree murder in 2013, but that conviction was overturned by Circuit Court judge Alfred Nance, who rightfully granted Johnson a new trial after prosecutors failed to disclose to Johnson’s attorneys information which called a prosecution key witness testimony into question. James McCrae had told the court during Jonson’ first trial that he had been called to Deena Barnes’ apartment by Johnson, where he observed Phylicia’s dead body wrapped in sheets, and while Johnson had allegedly solicited his aid in discarding the 16 teen year old child’s body. The prosecution had information from Montgomery County officials that impeached McCrae’s testimony which he alleged that he was a witness for that jurisdiction in an unrelated criminal case. The information highlighted the fact that Montgomery officials revealed that McCrae was never used as a witness in any criminal cases for their county, because officials had raised credibility issues regarding his potential testimony.

This discovery established that McCrae had in fact lied on the witness stand during Michael Johnson’s first trial, but prosecutors failed to disclose such discovery to Johnson’s defense team, which left judge Nance no other recourse but to overturn the conviction to insure that Johnson received a fair trial as required by law. That blunder by the state prosecutors handling Johnson’s case was the first misstep in a child disappearance and subsequent murder case that had garnered National attention. The second error came when prosecutors attempted to play a wiretape conversation of Johnson. Judge Howard had previously ordered that a portion of the tape be redacted and not played before the jury. Prosecutors were suppose to have reportedly edited the tape to remove a portion per Howard’s direction, but when the tape was played before the jury, the supposed redaction was still on the tape and was played before the jury against the judge’s direction. Therefore, judge Howard declared a mistrial. Defense attorneys argued that the state had purposely muffed the tape to tank the case out of fear that they were going to lose.

The third and final blow came today when judge Howard ordered all charges dropped against Michael Johnson, which set the stage for his release late Tuesday evening. It’s a decision which has raised tremendous outrage from followers of the Barnes teen tragic story. State prosecutors have stated on the record that judge Howard doesn’t have the jurisdiction to drop the charges and have vowed to appeal. Meanwhile Johnson is free on the streets of Baltimore tonight, while no immediate reaction was obtained from the child’s family. TPC spoke briefly tonight with Shauntel Sallis, the older sister of Phylicia Barnes, and understandably she appeared devastated by the news out of Baltimore today. Shauntel stated that she was just trying to wrap her head around it all. She told TPC that she got the news when her mother Janice Mustafa telephoned her and told her about the court’s ruling today. The news is simply a gut wrenching reality that this family has to bare while continuing to seek justice for young Phylicia Barnes.

How Did This Happen

When news first broke that Michael Johnson had been set free, many began to question how this could have happened. Prosecutors had demonstrated during the trial that Johnson apparently was engaged in an inappropriate relationship with the Barnes teen, and had text her over five thousand times in the previous six month before her disappearance. There was also a tape played before the jury which depicted Johnson, his younger brother, Deena Barnes, and young Phylicia streaking nude while engaged in “naked touching.” Prosecutors had claimed during his initial trial that Johnson was kissing Deena Barnes in the tape but clearly had his eyes set upon a naked young Phylicia Barnes. The state’ theory all along has been that Johnson became infatuated with the teen and pursued her sexually, strangled her which culminating in her death, and disposed of her body in the Susquehanna River in Northern Maryland..

Deena Barnes also testified in the first trial that she observed Michael Johnson touch Phylicia’s genital area, before the teen pushed his hand away. The older Barnes female drew strong criticism for allowing Johnson continued contact with the child after that incident. Deena’s account was just one of a volume of signs that indicated the child may have been at risk while she had contact with Johnson and other males related to him who frequented Deena Barnes’ apartment.. Shauntel Sallis had told investigators during the initial stages of her kid sister’ disappearance investigation, that Phylicia had advised her that Deena Barnes’ apartment had a high volume of traffic, that the door was always unlocked, and young men were coming and going all the time. Phylicia also advised her sister that one of the males made her nervous, that he kept staring at her, and that individual has always been suspected to be Michael Johnson.

While much of the evidence presented by the state in both trials were highly circumstantial, it all collectively painted a very intriguing image of Johnson related to his involvement and apparent inappropriate relationship with his girl friend’s younger half sister. Such interaction between Johnson and the Barnes teen should have been caught very early on when she began to make trips to Baltimore to visit her half siblings. Johnson’s involvement with the child is believed to be the very premise from which suspicion upon him derived. His communication with Phylicia coupled with being the last person to have allegedly saw her alive, creates a bonafide reason to add him into the fold of potential suspects who may be responsible for this promising child’s demise.

However, there has always been concern that the cops may have intentionally or otherwise muffed the case from the very start. Cops who were primary to the scene of Deena Barnes’ missing persons call to Baltimore Police when the child first went missing, were negligent in wrongfully characterizing Phylicia’s disappearance as a runaway case. Janice Sallis even spoke with primary police personnel and explained to them that her daughter wasn’t a troubled child, that she didn’t know anyone in Baltimore other than her half siblings, and that she was a very well adjusted child with no reason to run away. The child mother begged police to go out and search for her daughter, but her pleas were ignored, while six days elapsed before Baltimore police began to take Phylicia’s disappearance seriously. It was later discovered that a police supervisor related to Phylicia’s biological father (Russell Barnes’) side of her family showed up at the scene, questioned people, and may have directly impacted police actions who classified her disappearance as a runaway child case.

The trouble in the Phylicia Barnes murder case mystery didn’t just start there with potential inappropriate interference from the child’s family who just happened to also be Baltimore police, but the mothers of many of the young men frequenting Deena Barnes’ apartment were allegedly current and retired Baltimore Police officers. Additionally, sources tell TPC that the sister of Michael Johnson’s mother is in fact a Baltimore police detective in the exact same department that investigated Phylicia’s disappearance. All of these factors if determined to be factual, presents a very serious conflict of interest for investigators in the City police department. Fortunately, the Maryland state Police were charged with the murder investigation since her body was discovered in the Susquehanna River in Northern Maryland. A lot of the evidence that even the public knows should have been apart of the actual trials, were not even presented in court by state prosecutors.

Chiefly, much of the evidence that was brought to police attention by the public appeared to be the strongest asset for officials to determine what happened to young Phylicia. For example, the Barnes teen disappeared over the Christmas holiday back in 2010 on December 28. On approximately January 28, 2011 and exactly a month later, a girlfriend of one of the initial people (regulars who frequented Deena’s apartment) interviewed by Baltimore police, tweeted on social media “it’s trapped at the damn, don’t pull the lever.” The text became widely circulated on the internet and social media because the nude body of Phylicia Barnes was discovered nearly three months later near the Conowingo Dam in Harford County Maryland. TPC readers forwarded the tweet to this Blog’s administrator, and Maryland state police investigators were notified, but upon TPC’s contact with MSP, it was determined that police officials had already been made aware of the communication on social media.

It has never been established what if any momentum was gained by police investigators, after they had interviewed the young women who made the tweet, but many followers of this case were convinced that her comments regarding something being trapped at a dam, and coupled with her intimate association with an initial police interviewee, while he was also reportedly related to the man who last saw the child alive (Michael Johnson) is widely believed to not just be a mere coincidence. The fact that Phylicia Barnes was found deceased at a dam brings tremendous suspicion upon the young woman who made the twitter tweet, and points directly to members of the Johnson clan who were all continuously frequenting Deena’s apartment while Phylicia was staying there. Obviously, what ever happened to Phylicia had been talked about, and this young woman apparently had knowledge of details related to this information, when consideration is given to how she just so happened to coincidentally tweet about something being trapped at a dam months before the body of Phylicia Barnes was ever found there. The police’ inability to connect the dots with such an explosive piece of information surrounding the murder of Phylica Barnes is simply incredulous.

However, some people believe that the state prosecutors office never had any intentions on properly prosecuting Michael Johnson from the start. To begin with, the naming of Lisa Goldberg as the lead prosecutor was seen as troubling due to her storied past of having an inability to successfully prosecute defendants in high profile criminal cases. To many, Goldberg’s appointment to this case meant that the fix was in. Goldberg has lost other cases that many believe should easily have been won, and in some instances, even the defense council for defendants admitted that they believe their client should have been convicted of at least lesser crimes in cases prosecuted by Goldberg. Clearly Goldberg’s appointment to the Barnes case in the minds of some, meant that the state had tossed the case from the onset, primarily due to Goldberg’s perceived incompetence. This is a direct issue that TPC had warned Phylicia’s mother about during an interview she gave TPC around the time when Michael Johnson was first named as the defendant in this case.

The social political uniqueness and dynamics of the city of Baltimore creates a potentially troubling reality, which if properly investigated may yield serious conflict of interest related to prosecutors and Baltimore police officials who may have vested interest in seeing Johnson off the hook for the Barnes teen killing, because of his purported relationship to one of their own (his mother being a retired Baltimore Police). Is it the posture of TPC that there was in fact a conspiracy by law enforcement officials in Baltimore to let Johnson off the hook? Of course not, but it is in fact TPC’s position that the systemic cultural practice of policing in Baltimore may have led way to intentional lackluster prosecutorial performance in the Johnson case because his mother was a respected former Baltimore police who left the agency in good standing.

Without having to defend a police conspiracy theory, I’ll point out very troubling actions by state prosecutors in the Johnson criminal case. Why did the state put a known petty criminal on the stand during the first trial, who claim to have seen Phylicia’s dead body wrapped in sheets at Deena Barnes’ apartment, knowing that Montgomery County officials had already forwarded documents impeaching the completely bizarre, and quite frankly, entirely unbelievable story that prosecution witness James McCrae falsely testified to in open court. State prosecutors knew that Montgomery officials had completely destroyed their case by placing serious credibility issues upon their star witness, but they put him on the stand anyway knowing full well that documentation existed that would impeach what McCrae would tell the court. It was a tactic that was completely unfair to Michael Johnson’s defense, even if he is in fact guilty of killing Phylicia Barnes, state officials knew that such a gamble had the risk of having any conviction of Johnson overturned. By placing McCrae on the stand after having obtained such discovery of his credibility, Johnson’s initial conviction being overturned was rightfully, and completely justified by the court.

Also, other evidence generated by state police investigators were never utilized by state prosecutors. The twitter tweets which discussed something being trapped at a damn months before the Barnes teen body was found there, was compelling circumstantial evidence that rightfully placed suspicion upon the Johnson clan and potentially their girlfriends, who were all regulars that frequented Deena Barnes’ apartment during the time that Phylicia was staying there. The court transcripts in neither trial fail to reveal a motion or even discussion by either counsel regarding that information, and establishing that the jury was never made aware of such compelling communication surrounding Phylicia’s disappearance. Other information contained in Johnson clan members social media accounts depict a rather suspicion and interesting course of events around the critical hours of Phylicia’s disappearance. Again much of it circumstantial, but prosecutors never commanded police to diligently pursue these avenues of the investigation to enable state lawyers  to pursue such angles in court.

Lastly, why would state prosecutors play a tape recording before the jury of such a high profile case and completely bungle the judge’s directive to have a portion of the tape redacted? Many are compelled to concur with the defense team’s assertion that the state purposefully played the tape in the manner in which they did, because they knew it would result in the judge declaring a mistrial. It is just simply hard to imagine that state prosecutors were either that careless or that incompetent. Their actions resulted in a mistrial, in a case that they were more than likely for all intent and purposes resolved at having lost. These factors pertaining to the Michael Johnson case at least, point to serious and questionable actions by Maryland state prosecutors who have conducted themselves in a fashion, that could easily be interpreted as officials having intentionally created errors which would result in favorable resolutions for Johnson’s defense.

At the end of the day Michael Johnson is in fact a relative of former and current Baltimore police officials. Whether that fact can prove to be a conflict which aided his successful defense of murder charges remains to be seen. There appeared to be tremendous discovery related to the killing of young Phylicia Simone Barnes, but unfortunately police and state prosecution officials appeared to be incompetent in delivering justice for such a promising young child. One constellation in it all does resound crystal clearly though, the charges were only dropped, and means if sufficient evidence ever arises again and proves Johnson was this precious child’s killer, the state could prosecute him again. As for whether TPC believes if Michael Johnson killed young Phylicia Barnes, can best be responded by pondering a simple rhetorical question. Would an innocent man falsely accused of murder plan or plot to flee the country to avoid prosecution?

To Be Continued ..

The People’s Champion
I’m David Adams

Internet Search History Damaging For Johnson Defense: Phylicia Barnes Accused Killer’s Suspicious Web Searches May Convict Him


Prosecutors in the Michael Johnson murder trial have spent the last week painting a picture to a jury of what they believe actually happened to 16-year-old Phylicia Barnes who ended up floating nude in the Susquehanna River in Northern Maryland over the 2010 Christmas Holiday, after the honors teen had gone missing from her half-siblings Northwest Baltimore apartment on December 28, 2010. The state played Johnson’s initial statements to police before the jury, which revealed his explanation of his movements on the day young Phylicia went missing. A cellphone data analysis also testified that Johnson’s cell data was consistent with what he had told police. Johnson traveled between the homes of relatives in Southwest Baltimore and Patapsco State Park on December 28, 2010.

A volume of searches were conducted in the state park on tips which primarily derived from the public. Baltimore City Police Chief at the time of Barnes’ disappearance told the media that he believed the teen’s body was being moved around as investigators were closing in. After a volume of searches which included various law enforcement agencies, Barnes was subsequently found nearly four months later floating nude near the Conowingo Damn in Northern Maryland. The state presented some of the same evidence that was revealed during the first trial, including testimony of a witness who stated that he observed Michael Johnson shirtless, sweating profusely, and while struggling to carry a large plastic tote from the basement apartment where he was living with Phylicia’s sister Deena Barnes.

Investigators have continuously theorized that Johnson raped the pretty teen, strangled her, and transported her lifeless body out of Deena’s Northwest Baltimore apartment. Police also testified that Phylicia’s cellphone was turned off at approximately 1:03 p.m. on December 28, 2010, while Johnson’s cellphone, which had been on and off sporadically that day, came back on at 1:04 p.m. Johnson who text Deena Barnes that day said the teen “was up and active,” but indicating he last saw her around 1:30 p.m. TPC has reported that Johnson was in fact with his younger brother Glenton “Boots” Johnson around the same time on December 28, 2010 when “Boots” strangely text:

12-28 1:23 pm Glenton twitter~~> –**** dat don’t tella twice whopp her ass (Translated: “Fuck that don’t tell her twice whoop her ass.”)

Which was just minutes before Michael says he last saw the teen.

Just like the first trial, the state has failed to produce evidence directly linking Johnson to a crime scene or the Susquehanna River where Phylicia was found. In fact, prosecutors admitted before the jury that they can’t prove Johnson transported the teen’s body to Northern Maryland, but highlight the fact that the large plastic tote they believe Phylicia’s body was transported in, is missing and has never been found. The state’s case up until today (12/18/2014) has been very much the same of a rather “vanilla” circumstantial case, but new evidence produced before the jury in court today may have changed all of that. Fellow journalist and Baltimore Sun Crime Beat reporter Justin Fenton tweeted that some of the new evidence coming forth today was apparently not allowed in court during the first trial under judge Nance. Fenton notes that a volume of objections came from the defense as the state utilized the opportunity to reveal newly introduced evidence before the jury to paint an extremely compelling case that Johnson was in fact responsible for the teen’s demise.

Internet history on Michael Johnson’ cellphone showed Web searches for forensic procedures and for books on high-profile killings such as the Casey Anthony and JonBenet Ramsey cases, a Baltimore police detective told jurors today. Jurors also were shown stills from a video that investigators say they found on Michael Johnson’s cellphone. The images allegedly showed Johnson having sex and giving money to a woman police described as a prostitute. The evidence introduced by prosecutors today was not introduced in Johnson’s first trial last year, underscoring the different approach prosecutors are now taking. Prosecutors gambled during the first trial and presented James McCray as a star witness, who testified that Johnson solicited his help in discarding of the teens dead body. McCray’s testimony was the only tangible evidence the state presented during that trial, which would have established Deena Barnes’ apartment as a crime scene, and placed Johnson there with Phylicia’s body. McCray lied on the stand during that trial and when prosecutors became aware of information which impeached McCray’s testimony, they failed to turn the information over to his attorneys, and judge Nance threw out Johnson’s conviction and granted him a new trial.

The Internet searches introduced today, which police said were found on Johnson’s cellphone after his arrest in April 2012, appear to have occurred well after the killing. Police say they show visits to news articles and Twitter updates about the case, a “Pray for Phylicia” Facebook page and a “Websleuths” message board, on which participants try to solve cases. The history also showed a Web page for “forensic testing turnaround time,” as well as “hair and DNA evidence,” the state told jurors. Prosecutors also said the sex video shows Johnson in October 2010 setting up the camera and a woman entering his bedroom and picking up cash. Over objections from Johnson’s attorneys, the state told jurors the woman appears to be a prostitute. The state said police also found a video that shows Johnson, his younger brother, and Deena and Phylicia Barnes engaged in “naked touching,” and said the video had been titled “Bigdaddygohard.”

The state’s case has turned sharply from the first trial with evidence, though circumstantial, appearing to be extremely compelling that may lead to swaying a twelve panel jury into being convinced that Michael Johnson was responsible for the untimely demise of young Phylicia Barnes. Additionally, for the first time the state revealed the source of it’s discovering the nude video tape which depicted Johnson, his younger brother, Deena Barnes, and Phylicia streaking nude. Deena testified during the first trial that they were all engaged in a game they called “joinking.” Prosecutors told jurors today that the video was in fact found on Johnson’s cellphone. That detail may go a long way to help cement the state’ contention that Johnson had become infatuated with the teen, which resulted in him allegedly raping, strangling, and discarding of her body.

Any criminal defense lawyer can do a good job of explaining away why their client conducted internet searches regarding high profile murder cases, and the mere rationalization that their client simply likes to read crime related books may be sufficient to explain away such sought after reading, but web searches for “forensics turnaround time periods” and searches regarding “hair and DNA evidence” may be more problematic for a defense lawyer to explain away when their client just happens to be the primary subject of a capitol murder case. These very compelling, and disturbing details coupled with evidence of a seemingly “inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old teen, who prosecutors say that Johnson text 1,300 times in a six month period just may be more than convincing enough to a jury that Johnson’s purported desire for the pretty teen led him to kill her.

The cloud of suspicion hovering over Michael Maurice Johnson has just been reinforced with the introduction of evidence which had been excluded in the first trial. The traditional elements of forensics, DNA, and other factors typically utilized to link criminals to heinous crimes such as this one, might not be necessary to convict a killer in this case. Johnson’s suspicious internet searches related to crime scene investigating and other scientific web searches just may be all that’s required to nail his coffin shut related to the murder of young Phylicia Barnes.

To Be Continued ..

Baltimore Sun Crime Beat

The People’s Champion
I’m David Adams

Prosecutors Face Uphill Battle In Barnes Teen Murder Retrial: City Police May have Bungled Case Which Should Have Implicated Others


Many of the tears have sense dried up that were shed by so many within the public who cried for Janice and Raheem Mustafa’s beautiful daughter, the late Phylicia Simone Barnes. Her story is an unbelievable journey that has yet to reach a culmination of the truth, justice for the murdered child and her family, and long awaited closure of a completely heartbreaking story about a promising teen girl who was manipulated, subverted, and led down a deadly path of promiscuousness and dangerous big city culture that would eventually result in the book smart child’s demise.

Many of the facts in her tragic story are clear. Phylicia Barnes disappeared nearly four years ago on December 28, 2010 while visiting her “half-siblings” in Baltimore over the Christmas holiday. After a volume of searches were conducted by various law enforcement agencies around the city, the Barnes teen nude body would subsequently be discovered by a state environment crew working near the Conowingo Dam in Northern Maryland. Phylicia had been staying with her “half-sister” in northwest Baltimore. How the pretty child ended up a victim of such a horrible demise nearly some 40 miles away has never quite been determined by investigators handling her murder case.

The teen’ mom pointed out very disturbing details about her daughter’s case from the very start. Janice Mustafa had spoken to her daughter’s “half-sister” at length regarding the kind of supervision she expected to be implemented while Phylicia was staying in Baltimore. Janice says that she was persistent in making her expectations known regarding the care of young Phylicia while in Maryland. Her public disclosure of these facts came amid criticism from the public, who thought it was simply poor judgement and parenting for allowing her daughter to visit what later was determined to be the worst environment imaginable for a young naive child like Phylicia. The mother cleared up earlier suspicions that the child had been neglected. She revealed that Phylicia had traveled to Baltimore on five previous occasions prior to her disappearance, and had returned home without incident. The mother seemingly had no cause for alarm.

Unfortunately, the mother’s daughter never led on about exactly what had been occurring during her visits to Baltimore. When she first got word that her daughter had gone missing, a child friend of Phylicia told Janice during a tearful dialogue of remorse, that Phylicia had previously revealed to her in confidence that she had been allowed to drink vodka and smoke marijuana during her visits to Baltimore. Janice said that the child was extremely distraught after learning of Phylicia’s disappearance, and felt regret for not having disclosed what Phylicia shared with her much earlier, and was now fearful that something may have happened to her friend.

Armed with that information, Janice and her husband Raheem headed to Baltimore to find their daughter. Janice said that she confronted Deena Barnes, the “half-sister” that Phylicia had been staying with about the allegations of her daughter being permitted to use drugs and drink alcohol. Janice said Deena admitted to her that she had allowed Phylicia to smoke “pot” and drink vodka, but assured her that her consumption was minimal. That admission by the “half-sister” coupled with statements from Phylicia’s older sister Shauntel, and others who were there, reveal that Deena Barnes had lied to Janice Mustafa about how she would be supervising her daughter while under her care in Baltimore. Phylicia had notified her big sister about concerns she had related to a volume of people (chiefly males) having access to the apartment, with people coming and going all the time.

Shauntel also revealed that her kid sister confided in her about a male at her sister’s apartment who made her uncomfortable because he repeatedly stirred at her (Suspectedly Michael Johnson). Although Deena Barnes purportedly admitted to Janice that Phylicia had been allowed to smoke “pot” and drink alcohol, she consistently denied these facts initially in public and that her apartment wasn’t what the cops described as a “flop house.” Further investigation by the Mustafas revealed that not only were young males and adult males coming and going to the apartment on a regular basis, but Deena’s boyfriend Michael Johnson, and another adult male were actually living there. Janice said this is completely contrary to what her understanding of the living arrangements would be while young Phylicia was staying there. Janice said that had she known that adult males were living at the apartment, her daughter would never have been permitted to visit Deena’s apartment alone.

All of these facts created tremendous concern for the Mustafas pertaining to their daughter who had gone missing. Much of what they learned was told to the police, but a apathetic posture by Baltimore Police who treated the Barnes disappearance as a typical run away case, gave those responsible for her death an entire week head start before her case was even taken seriously by the police. The lack of proactivity by police while initially learning of her disappearance is only one of a volume of serious blunders pertaining to the entire Phylicia Barnes murder investigation.

Some of the information initially provided to police surrounding Phylicia’s disappearance, now appears to have been purposefully designed and offered to police to mislead them. Whoever told cops that the child had gone to local establishments to purchase food, were more than likely lying to police. Investigations conducted into security surveillance cameras in the area concluded that the Barnes teen hadn’t gone to the local business district. The discovery of other inconsistent statements to the police by those who were around the child when she went missing, led to search warrants and the confiscation of personal property like cellphones etc, for several people connected to the case. The investigation would later discover a video captured on a cellphone which depicted Phylicia Barnes, Deena Barnes, Michael Johnson, and Johnson’s younger brother streaking nude.

The video was played for the jury during the first trial and is expected to be viewed by the current jury as well. The police have built a case against Johnson predicated on the belief that he had a serious infatuation with the teen. Prosecutors point out that while Johnson appeared to be kissing Deena Barnes in the video, he had his eyes directly fixed on Deena’s naked little sister Phylicia Barnes. They also utilized testimony from Deena Barnes herself during the first trial, who testified that she observed Michael Johnson attempted to touch young Phylicia in her nether regions before the teen pushed his hands away. Prosecutors also used text message records to reveal how Johnson had text the 16-year-old girl over 1,000 times in just a few months time period.

Mishaps In First Trial

The prosecutor attempted to place Michael Johnson at a crime scene which suggested that Phylicia was murdered inside her sister’s apartment. The state used the testimony of James McCray, who the defense argued during trial was a jail house snitch. McCray testified that he had given testimony for officials in Montgomery county. He went on to testify that Johnson had solicited his help disposing of Phylicia’s body. McCray said Johnson led him inside a northwest Baltimore apartment where he observed the teen’s lifeless body wrapped in sheets. McCray told the court that he declined to assist Johnson in moving the body, but did instruct him on how to best dispose of the body. McCray said he told Johnson to strip the body nude and to discard it in water because it would conceal forensics, and would not surface for a period of time.

McCray’s testimony seemed plausible because that’s exactly how Phylicia’s body appeared to have been discarded. Baring testimony from McCray, the state produced no physical evidence linking Michael Johnson to the body of Phylicia Barnes or even connecting him to the Susquehana River where her body was eventually discovered. The state presented a highly circumstantial case against Michael Johnson, while arguing that he was seen struggling with carrying a large tote in the stairwell of Deena’s apartment building. Prosecutors have failed to demonstrate how they believe the body of young Phylicia Barnes was contained inside the tote, but while offering to the court that the tote had never been found.

In fact, the state presented such a weak case against Michael Johnson during the initial trial, that prosecutors drew criticism from the presiding judge Alfred Nance, who scolded the state’ attorneys while stating that they have “presented a case based on a theory,” but stopping just short of tossing the case out entirely, and citing that the case should go before the jury. The jury came back with a conviction on the charge of second degree murder and it appeared that Johnson would be the sole person pinched for the murder of Phylicia Barnes. While the defense argued stringently against the credibility of McCray’s testimony, jurors who were interviewed by news media after the trial indicated that very little weight was given to the testimony of James McCray, but rather jail house recorded calls of Johnson was void of him ever declaring his innocence, and that his discussion about fleeing the country to avoid prosecution was just as good as an admission of guilt. Shortly after the trial concluded the prosecutors handling the Johnson case received documents from the Montgomery County police that revealed troubling information about James McCray, the state’ star witness against Michael Johnson.

Montgomery County officials revealed that McCray was in fact scrubbed as a witness for prosecutors because some officials had concern regarding his credibility. This also meant that McCray had committed perjury on the stand during the Michael Johnson murder trial. The state had an obligation to turn such witness testimony impeachment over to the defense, but waited over two weeks before doing so. Therefor, during the sentencing phase of Johnson’s murder trial, judge Nance overturned the conviction, and cited that the state failed to disclose pertinent discovery documents to Johnson’s counsel. Such a blunder by prosecutors was a direct violation of Michael Johnson’s constitutional right to a fail and impartial trial. Judge Nance had no other recourse but to overturn the conviction.

Should Johnson Have Been The Only Suspect

Now that the state can no longer use the testimony of James McCray, it erases the only piece of evidence presented during the first trial that connected Michael Johnson to a crime scene, and the teen’s dead body. Without such dynamic evidence, the state’ mostly circumstantial case will be a tremendous upheaval to obtain a murder conviction of Michael Johnson before a seated Baltimore City Circuit Court Jury. Especially if the state continues along the path of prosecution it started during the first trial. Many followers of this case widely believe that Johnson may have been involved in the killing of Phylicia Barnes, but almost certainly had accomplices. Investigators uncovered tremendous discovery pertaining to the case from social media, though mainly circumstantial, but more compelling in terms of potential guilt to Johnson and many of his family members and friends.

For instance, on January 28, 2011 a girlfriend of one of the initial people that was interviewed by police, tweeted “it’s trapped at the dam, don’t pull the lever.” This communication was revealed and sent to police investigators, and raises serious concern whether the female’s (“the twitter girl”) tweet was a direct revelation regarding the location of the body of Phylicia Barnes, considering that the communication was made nearly three months prior to Phylicia’s body having been discovered at the Conowingo Dam in northern Maryland. Although the tweet is circumstantial, it’s perhaps the most dynamic piece of indirect evidence that prosecutors could have produce in court. It also suggest that others may have been involved in the child’s disappearance and murder. The fact that prosecutors never utilized such discover is confusing.

Additionally, investigators uncovered a volume of tweet exchanges between Michael Johnson and his relatives. Chiefly, literally just minutes before Johnson says that he last saw the Barnes teen alive around 1:30 p.m. One very disturbing tweet by Johnson’s younger brother, who tweeted at 1:23 p.m. “don’t tell her twice, whoop her ass.”

Tweets on December 28, 2010

12-28 1:03 pm Glenton twitter~~> –Whoop her ass #ladyinthestore–

12-28 1:23 pm Glenton twitter~~> –**** dat don’t tella twice whopp her ass–

Glenton’s tweets are both compelling and scary as he is telling someone to whoop a female’s ass just 7 minutes before Phylicia Barnes was reportedly last seen alive by Michael Johnson. A previous TPC article also details how one of the Johnson cousins William Johnson engaged TPC and readers in the Blog’s chat room, while revealing that Michael Johnson has a nickname (“Ease”) that he obtained from a xbox game tag. The exchange in the Blog chat room caused many to believe that cops had compelling and sufficient evidence to charge Glenton “Bootz” Johnson along side his older brother Michael for the killing of Phylicia Barnes. The tweet that points to Glenton and Michael riding together eaarlier that day in a car smoking marijuana is here:

12-28 12:59 pm Glenton twitter~~> – “@AYOKrazie yo me an ease mixed some grass in da hookah dat shyt had me stupid high like my second time smokin–”

This shows that if William Johnson is correct that Michael’s nickname is in fact “Ease” then it means that he and Glenton were together minutes before the teen disappeared. Michael told cops that he last saw the pretty teen asleep on the couch at her sister’s apartment on December 28, 2010 around 1:30 p.m., but when we consider tweets from Glenton on the same day minutes before she was last seen alive by anyone, a very scary picture is revealed and might indicate that Glenton and Michael may have in fact kidnapped the child and used force to get her to comply with their demands.

It was first revealed during the Peas In their pods internet radio interview of the Barnes siblings, that according to Phylicia’s older half-sister, Michael Johnson went by her apartment early that morning to do laundry and that he eventually took his kid brother Delanie home because he didn’t have permission to be at the apartment. Many followers believed it was just a very bad idea to leave a pretty teen girl alone with males present that were not related to her. However, there are other tweets by Glenton Johnson that compels many from the public to believe that he and Michael were in a hurry attempting to navigate busy Rolling Road congested traffic, because the pair wanted to hurry back to Deena Barnes’ apartment where they could isolate young Phylicia Barnes while she was alone.

More Tweets from Glenton Johnson on December 28, 2010

12-28 12:48 pm Glenton twitter~~>Rollin rd is gay
12-28 12:49 pm Glenton twitter Just a busy ass street for no reason–
12-28 12:51 pm Glenton twitter~~> Hurry up an buy!–

Many of the bizarre tweets from Michael Johnson and his family members from the exact same day Phylicia Barnes went missing, paint a disturbing but perhaps compelling story that the males were up to something, and it’s all there in the figurative language being used by the Johnson Clan, but the cops dropped the ball and never gave the tweets any credibility at all. I am certain that tweets and other communication from Johnson family members were coded with hidden meaning, that an older Johnson brother tweeted a warning of caution related to the content of their tweets.

12-28 3:31 pm Kevin Johnson Tweet Watch wat u tweet. “the man” is watching.. lok

Also during the first trial, the state challenged the older Johnson on the stand, asking him if he recalled an internet search he conducted via Google where he attempted to determine if a cellphone’s GPS could be detected if the phone was in fact turned off. Kevin Johnson denied recollection of the search inquiry, but it was a very compelling argument that the state attempted to present, because it highlighted how the Johnson brothers were in constant contact with each other on the day that young Phylicia Barnes went missing, and at the very least the older Johnson demonstrated concern for the contents of the clan’s tweets and didn’t want it to e viewed by police, as well as their locations while tweeting to each other.

The social media communications between the Johnson’s were all circumstantial, but presents a very tough scenario that should never have been overlooked by the Baltimore City Police. Their tweets were more compelling in terms of establishing potential involvement of many of the Johnson brothers related to the Barnes teen murder case, as oppose to the extremely vanilla story that the state offered during the first trial when James McCray testified placing Michael Johnson at a crime scene with the Barnes teen’s lifeless body. When the lead investigator of the Barnes case became embroiled in a criminal case involving his own daughter, it’s widely believed that state prosecutors panicked and created a rush to judgement charging Johnson for the crime before having all of their ducks line up in a row, so that the nails could completely shut the coffin on Michael Johnson and his accomplices.

The tremendous gamble that prosecutors took by rolling the dice and intentionally putting a lying star witness who subsequently perjured himself on the stand during the state’ first trial culminating into a conviction having been overturned, and the failure of city police to connect the dots surrounding potentially incriminating tweets by Johnson family members, may have simply raised the burden of proof to unobtainable heights for the Maryland State prosecutors office, and what a shame it is for the quest of justice for this teen girl and her family. It’s an uphill battle that may result into another acquittal with Michael Maurice Johnson walking, while escaping conviction of the death of young Phylicia Simone Barnes. Four years later and her story remains an extremely sad commentary.

To Be Continued ..

The People’s Champion
I’m David Adams

For The Love Of Honey: Georgia Teen Slaying Remains An Epic Criminal Display Of Cowardice


The night began with a routine trip for Flora Malone as she drove to pick up her teen daughter “Honey” from her job at a local T.W. Price retail store. Malone says that her daughter was proud of her job, and rightfully so. A young person working, making their own money, and trying to establish herself as a productive member of society. Young “Honey” had other ambitions though, her friends say that she wanted to go to school for cosmetology and also had interest in modeling. She was a good kid on the right track, and those who were closest to her say the Malone youth had an alluring personality that seemed to be complimented by her good looks, and outgoing character. As mother and daughter made the trek home, neither probably never knew it would be one of the last times they would be together.

Flora says her daughter went out to visit some friends and initially came back home. Then “Honey” told her mother that she was going out one last time and would be right back “I promise.” Malone says her daughter told her that she loved her, and sadly it would be the very last time she’d see young “Honey” alive again. Flora Malone would be alerted hours later by friends of her daughter, who told her that Vanessa “Honey” Malone had apparently met a tragic ending. Malone called her oldest daughter Cassandra before heading over to the crime scene where she was told “Honey” was killed. Malone pleaded with the cops in a desperate attempt to confirm that “Honey” was in fact the victim of this horrible crime. What a horrible crime it actually was. A hundred pound girl shot in the back, and a very disturbing element of this tragic case that has bothered many. As her mother has previously conveyed, they were such cowards that they couldn’t even look her daughter in the face when they killed her. Malone didn’t learn until much later on that “Honey” was actually dead.

The brutal slaying of Vanessa “Honey” Malone was an extremely heinous crime that seemed unbelievable from the very start. The initial story offered to police that a gang of 4-6 heavily armed masked gunmen kicked an apartment door down, conducted a home invasion, when young “Honey” allegedly walks in on the crime while it was in progress, and caused the would be robbers to kill the teen.There were three other people at the apartment that night when “Honey” was killed. The fact that this cast of shady characters even survived such a bizarre ordeal is simply incredible alone. Firstly, why weren’t the survivors able to accurately convey to the police exactly how many suspects were involved in the alleged home invasion. That sounds like one person said 4 and another person said six. I guess that a detail they forgot to discuss when they were trying to get their story together prior to the cops arriving. Oh make no mistake about it, I believe that the survivors were complicit in young “Honey’s” killing if not directly responsible themselves.

I haven’t arrived at such a conclusion on a whim. There are elements of their story that is very problematic. Let’s take a very hard look at some of the details surrounding what happened that night. Two of the victims say that they were tied up and made to lay down in the bath tub, when they heard a scream that was immediately followed by a gun shot. This story never establishes where the third victim was during the home invasion, and then he doesn’t even stick around to talk to the cops about what happened. I have always been troubled by this account. Also, the victims in the bath tub say that they heard “Honey” being brought back inside the apartment when several more gunshots were heard. How did they know “Honey” actually left the apartment. The story seems crafted to fit a scenario where “Honey” walked in on the crime in progress, but I have always felt that they were there lying in wait for the teen, and that “Honey” was more than likely lured to the apartment that night by those who lived there. I support my theory based on the fact that “Honey” is the only person who lost their life that night.

I have also previously argued in other blog articles about the questionable circumstance by which young “Honey” was killed. The three survivors all describe the alleged gunmen as having on mask. This clearly demonstrates that their identities were hidden, and any scenario offered that would suggest that “Honey” may have been killed to prohibit her ability to identify them, has no merit what so ever. In fact, if we follow the story offered by the survivors of the home invasion, their account suggest that “Honey” fled the apartment and was shot in the back, then physically brought back inside. Several more shots also rang out which resulted in the teen’s murder, and some how no one within the entire complex overheard the gunshots or were alarmed enough to notify police. This is an extremely incredible version of events if it actually went down in the manner they describe.

The absence of anyone hearing gunshots within close proximity of the apartment where the crime occurred is so disturbing to me, that I believe some mechanism was utilized to stifle the sound of gun fire. A silencer may have been used in the Malone youth’ killing. After all, one of the survivors had already fled the scene prior to police arrival. He could very well have taken the murder weapon and the silencer with him to hide from police. Anytime an allege witness leaves the scene of a serious violent crime such as this one, it’s always problematic. He was reportedly wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant and fled the scene to avoid apprehension by police. That story also seems way too convenient considering he had just fled from a murder scene. Seems very fishy to me.

Even more disturbingly though, this same person isn’t accounted for during the home invasion. The female and her boyfriend are placed in the bath tub tied up, but no rationalization is ever offered within their story as to the whereabouts of this individual while the crime is actually in progress. Was he also tied up and placed in some other part of the apartment? It just doesn’t make sense that 4-6 heavily armed gunmen would leave three survivors after having already murdered someone, and only obtaining a cellphone and a wallet as the score in an armed home invasion robbery. Anything is possible, but this far fetched story seems to have been a brain twister for the local police. Some how the story of the armed home invasion was deemed as credible by police, solely predicated on their observation of damage to the front door of the apartment, which they more than likely believed corroborated the story about the door to the apartment having been kicked in. It’s possible that the damage could have been staged by the three people who last saw “Honey” alive.

Let’s face it, these characters were violent enough to shoot a hundred pound teen girl in the back unconsciously as if she was nothing. They were there on serious business looking for something, but they only leave with a cellphone and a wallet. So, the survivors wants everyone to believe that Vanessa “Honey” Malone was gunned down for these petty items? It just doesn’t fit. The three survivors know more. I don’t even believe that there were any masked gunmen at all. The story about 4-6 armed men sounds retarded. Was it four or six men? Something other than what the police were told occurred which resulted in the teen’s killing, and the person who fled the scene without talking to the cops appears to be a good place to start investigating.

Ironically, both of the male survivors were eventually taken into custody on unrelated charges. The man who fled before police arrival was apprehended for the outstanding warrant for a gun charge. The other male was charged with tampering with evidence related to “Honey’s” killing. Why would he attempt to alter the crime scene where the teen was killed. It’s rumored that the man destroyed drugs prior to the cops arrival. If true, it doesn’t make sense because now it means that not only did the mask gunmen kill young “Honey” and only got a cellphone and a wallet, but they also were idiots who couldn’t find the drug stash in the house. If the alleged home in version was to score drugs and proceeds from drug sales, chances are that they more than likely knew exactly where to find the loot prior to even conducting the robbery. Criminals are typically well aware of what they are up against attempting to rob a drug stash house when there are usually guns there used to protect the place. If it was a robbery for drugs and money, I’m not convinced that the robbers didn’t know where to find the stash well before they set the robbery in motion.

Now that we have placed tremendous scrutiny upon the account offered by the three survivors from the night young “Honey” was gunned down, other factors which may have been the cause of her killing must be closely evaluated. One scenario I have considered is that “Honey” may have rejected sexual advances from the mystery man who left before the police arrived. According to the story that was given to police, they had all settled down for the night, were in bed prior to hearing someone kicking in the front door, and the rear door to the home appears to have been left ajar. It’s a Friday night and they are all in bed before 10:00? You do the math. The female survivor and one of the males were a couple, and if they all were in bed settled down on a Friday night, “Honey” and the mystery man may have been in a private or intimate setting within the apartment. It’s plausible that two females and two males may have paired up in separate parts of the house.

Angered by “Honey’s” rejection of his advances, the mystery man may have shot the teen. The gun shot to her back may have even been staged to fit the story that they would ultimately tell the cops regarding how she died. Especially if they wanted to sell the story that she walked in on the robbery, fled, and was subsequently shot in the back. This would also explain why the man fled the apartment before cops arrived, if his clothing had blood or other forensics on him from shooting “Honey.” This is a possible scenario, because the bogus story of her attempting to flee the robbery, then being shot in the back, and having the robbers bring her back into the apartment is just complete absurdity at best. Who shoots someone then picks them up and brings them back into the apartment? I continue to struggle with how the survivors were able to determine that “Honey” was physically brought back inside, when they were all allegedly tied up in various parts of the apartment. I am personally under the firm belief that the three survivor are in fact lying.

Furthermore, if the rumors which assert that the cellphone and wallet have been returned to the survivors of the alleged home invasion, then it speaks volumes in terms of the credibility of the facts that the survivors gave to police, and at the very minimum suggest that they are aware of who had the reported stolen items. Rarely do you see these kinds of heinous crimes which involve the brutalization of a female and no assistance is offered to the police to aid their ability to solve the crime. Whether “Honey” was killed because of the brutality of would be robbers or perhaps because of her rejection of possible sexual advances, her killing is one of the most cowardice acts of violence in recent memory. The need to exact such violence upon a very petite frame female who more than likely posed minimal threat to her attacker(s) is just despicable.

Despite “honey’s” mother and other family members outcry for help from the public, and the seemingly national spotlight that her killing has garnered, the streets continue to remain silent with no one willing to expose the cowardice bastard(s) who took this teen’s life. Until her killer is brought to justice, questions surrounding what happened to “Honey” will linger, and the family will be denied closure as well as justice for Vanessa “Honey” Malone.

To Be Continued

The People’s Champion
I’m David Adams

War On Black Youth Confirmed In Ferguson: TPC Offers What Really Needs To Be Said!


I have heard just about every argument imaginable from white and black folks regarding the Michael Brown decision in Ferguson, Missouri. Although many perspectives do entail viable arguments related to how police authorities have failed the community in this process. Here we stand once again on the shores of America where an injustice has taken the life of one of our young people at the hands of a police officer, whose rationalization for killing Michael Brown echoes a similar posture from white police officers who proclaim that they were simply in fear for their lives.

Despite supporters of the Brown family declaring a lack of confidence in the state prosecutor handling the case, and their stringent request for a special prosecutor to be named, unfortunately the system render a decision which was greatly anticipated by the black community, community leaders, activist, and members of the local and national clergy. I believe it’s safe to advocate that no one wanted an innocent man to be charged for a crime that he wasn’t in fact guilty of, but rather there should have been the basic expectation that police officer Darren Wilson would be at the very minimum scrutinized by the criminal justice system as any other criminal defendant.

I have been diligently listening to media coverage of the fallout that has arrived since the grand jury decision was made public. Almost immediately, white commentators began to offer their analyzation of the transcripts from the grand jury process. The argument was created that there was blood splatter or blood drops leading away from the police officer’s vehicle and then the same blood evidence reportedly began to lead back toward officer Wilson some 21-25 feet. Once this alleged portion of the so called physical evidence was presented to the listening audience, a black journalist began refuting such an assertion that it was in fact strong physical evidence which also supported officer Wilson’s testimony that Michael Brown had charged toward him.

Not only did the white commentators not qualify how they were able to conclude that Michael Brown did charge back toward Wilson, but they omitted the very crucial portion of the transcript which detailed how jurors questioned one of the investigating detectives who only guessed what the distant was of the alleged blood leading back toward Wilson. The black journalist also pointed out that no one actually took pictures of this alleged blood trail at the crime scene. In fact the detective testified that the reason he didn’t take pictures was because his camera didn’t have any batteries. Who is to say that a trail of blood leading back toward the police officer even existed, and wasn’t simply fabricated by cops who were Wilson supporters. This basic element of the transcript was crucial because it revealed that police officials estimated the distance of this alleged blood trail toward the officer, which by the way doesn’t make logical sense since the Brown youth was being shot at. Why would any one charge toward a person firing a gun at them. It doesn’t make sense, but a grand jury believed Wilson’s account.

However, these are the kind of tactics used by not only the police but the media, to sell the story that Michael Brown was in fact aggressive toward a police officer who became fearful of his life. Most of the testimony from black witnesses were discredited and the white contractors who were filmed just moments after the Brown shooting, and motioned with their hands in the air saying that Brown posed no threat was not even interviewed by the grand jury.

These are just a very few troubling facts related to this miscarriage of justice that we have began to see far more frequently in recent years. Now the battle cry from the media, police, Wilson supporters, and blacks who are critical of their own community, that the violence which ensued after the decision was announce only demonstrates why blacks are continuously deemed as aggressive and violent, while justifying Wilson’s use of deadly force. It’s disturbing that not only do the black community have to deal with the injustice of police and the white establishment, but we also have to deal with criticism from black Americans who seem to always take the opportunity to depict the violent nature of black on black crime.

The systemic violence within the black community is a real issue which we must address on our own accord, but it shouldn’t be utilized as justification for the killing black children. Some black people want to present thee argument that the black community is violent and whites are simply justified with such a perception of all black people. These same opportunistic black people seem to forget exactly how the black community actual arrived at it’s oppressive state. I have repeatedly stated that once the white America dynamic is taken out of the black community, such violence would be non existent.

Black people don’t have the resources to bring drugs from far away lands to be distributed within our community. Blacks don’t own gun manufacturing facilities and aren’t the major gun smugglers into the black community. The vast majority of liquor establishments that are seen on just about every corner within the black community is by design, and are largely owned by non blacks. Take these dynamics that are normally predicated on white business practices and there would be an alarming change in the social economic and political dynamics of the black community.

However, more needs to be said and most are either too afraid or refuse to say it. No matter what the circumstance is related to black people in this country whether it relates to policing, economics, or socialism, the ruling white class will always manipulate the system so that the playing field for black people in America will always be unbalanced. We should never trust American laws, solely on the basic principle that laws which were never design to include black people can never ever protect us. There are those within our own community who sit around pointing their fingers at the youth who rioted in Ferguson Missouri last night, but the reality is that there is a younger generation emerging that is not afraid to do what their ancestors have failed to do since the onset of our bondage on the shores of this western civilization.

Many followers of the Michael Brown case have been advocating how our community’s peaceful nonviolent protest posture has continued to fail us, while white police continue to kill our young black babies over the most minute and weakest criminal accusations. Many fail to recall that Brown’s initial encounter with officer Darren Wilson was over jaywalking. This young man actually died over jaywalking, and there are black people out there who don’t get it. It is my earnest hope that the next time one of these tragic stories grabs the national media spotlight, that the victims are one of the children or loved ones of one of these ignorant Uncle Tom black folks who haven’t left the plantation in America yet.

These kinds of injustices will not cease until the black community learns to forgo our meek, humble, and kind hopes of being treated fairly by the ruling white class in this country. Our children are sacred ground and high time that the appropriate response to the blatant attack upon them has began to be implemented. I have been advocating for decades that the only way black people will solve our problems of being murdered, oppressed, and mistreated by white America is to began to give them just as good as we get. We need to start killing some of their asses, some of their babies, and creating chaos within their communities. Only a fool allows the same kind of death and abuse to befall upon their community, and now that our black babies are the target, this means war! That’s the only appropriate response that will change the course of this country’s destruction of our race. All of those black folks who continue to march in accordance to the mistreatment of black America should fall to certain death right along with their master. Make sure you spell my name right.

The People’s Champion
I’m David Adams

Until The Bitter End: A Culture Of Secrecy In Search Of My True Heritage


Part 3 of 5 in this series: I must warn readers that the contents of this article may be offensive to members of my own family. I believe that right is right and wrong is wrong, and no matter what other’s opinion related to this topic might be, I am only vetted by the spirit which has driven me to underscore the dignity of my mother and biological grandmother in this regard. May peace be upon them.

She was only an 8 year old little girl back then, but my Aunt Roslyn tells me that the first seed was planted within her, some 45 years ago by her mother’s baby brother, who had revealed to her that Sylvania Adele White was her sister. She says that she remembers as if it were only yesterday when her Uncle William (Billy) Johnson Jr. disclosed the shocking details to her one day on a trip to see relatives. Aunt Roxie (as she is affectionate known) tells the story like this: “Uncle Billy was a regular at my mothers house, and would often come by and pick me up to go on road trips to other relatives homes with him. I would always ask if we were going to see Adele. Uncle Billy knew she was my favorite older cousin, and marveled by my excitement to see her, he blurred out to me, ‘well you know she’s your sister don’t you?’

Aunt Roxie says she told Uncle Billy “no way, how could that be?” She says he never fully explained how my mother, who was her favorite older cousin was in fact her sister. She says she told Uncle Billy that she was going to ask her grandmother and aunt about it. She apparently did ask her family how her cousin Adele was her sister. They asked her who told you that? She says she was never allowed to go on road trips with her Uncle Billy again. Nonetheless, that little seed Uncle Billy planted in young Roslyn Christian was only the starting point of continuous probing she would do over the years throughout her life, and until this present day. She never forgot what her Uncle told her, and the physical likeness that her cousin Adele bared in relationship to her mother and herself, was so striking that Roslyn has never let the notion of Adele being her sister rest.

As young Roxie grew into her teen years her inquisitiveness would also grow. She repeatedly questioned her mother as to whether or not Adele was her sister. Roxie says that her mother would often attempt to change the subject, give off color or generic answers, and all while continuously denying that Adele was her sister. Roxie says she was so certain that Adele’s physical likeness to her mother proved that she was in fact her sister, and even became angry and frustrated one day while having a conversation with her mother about it, that she yelled at her mother “somebody is lying,’ and rain off to her bedroom. That wasn’t the last time Roxie says she confronted her mother about Adele being her sister. She recalls asking her mother who was suppose to be Adele’s mother, and when her mom said “Fats” (Dorothy Mae Jones), Roxie told her mother there is no way “Fats” was Adele’s mother. Like my Aunt Roxie, I have always believed that my mother didn’t physically resemble Dorothy Jones (my alleged grandmother) nor any of her children.

At some point my Aunt Roxie became frustrated and tired of hearing the same reply about Adele not being her sister, that she stopped having conversations about it with her mother. Roxie never let the spirit of Adele being her sis die. In fact, upon Dorothy Jones'(Roxie’s mother older sister) death and during her repass, Roxie confronted my mother for the first time asking her if she was in fact her sister. She said that she told my mother that she looked just like her mother (Lois Jean Johnson) and her, and that she looked more like her sister than her cousin. Roxie says my mother never uttered a word. She just simply looked up at her and smiled. Aunt Roxie also said that she remembered as a little girl that when she saw her cousin Adele, my mother would say to her “Roxie your my pretty little sister,” and pick her up and give her a big hug and a kiss. Unfortunately, Aunt Roxie’s mother and my mom both left this earth without ever fully addressing Roxie’s concerns related to whether Adele actually was her sister.

Eye Witness Accounts

Although Aunt Roxie went through life questioning the credibility of her mother and other family members related to the true maternity of my mother, there were obvious signs that Adele’s true identity was being hidden. For instance, interviews have been conducted with people who were there, around my mother, and the Johnson and Christian families that offered very compelling insight which bolsters Aunt Roxie’s claim that Adele was in fact her sister. Chiefly, witness accounts back up Roxie’s position that Adele’s physical likeness to her mother were not only striking, but rather it caused others to question what exactly was the extent of their relationship. One witness states that it was initially rumored that Adele was Lois Jean Johnson’s baby sister, because they looked identical. Then rumors later surfaced that my mom was her Niece, a story which has held for decades until compelling recent developments that stringently challenges what we have been told about my mother’s parentage.

These same witnesses recall the closeness of my mother and Lois Jean Johnson. Adele was known to stay the entire weekend with her on a regular basis. This is something that Adele wasn’t known to have done with any of her six aunts among the Johnson sisters. It’s simply suspicious that Adele, who looked more like Lois Jean Johnson than any of her other children, would have such a close relationship with that particular Aunt. Also, conversations that I have held with all of Dorothy Mae Jones’ (Adele’s alleged mother) surviving children, revealed that Adele was never known to stay at their home. Adele was in fact raised by her grandmother Lettie Johnson. That fact has drawn a volume of interest from younger family members over the years, and has always challenged why Adele wasn’t raised by her own mother (or the woman who reportedly was suppose to be her mother) Dorothy Jones.

Adele’s lack of physical likeness to Dorothy and her children has only recently become a prevalent issue, since the onset of images of Lois Jean Johnson emerging, and having been viewed by my siblings and I for the first time ever. The fact that we had never known Jean or her children our entire lives, perhaps is the most compelling aspect of this entire story that establishes some measure of covert secrecy having been instituted by members of our family. This apparent closely kept (70 year old) family secret began to unravel in 1969 when Roxie was told that Adele was her sister, by her mother’s baby brother. The fact that Roxie never let go of her belief that Adele could possibly be her sister is the very reason we have arrived at this juncture of our family history.

Seeking Out The Truth

Roxie’s stories about her cousin Adele were known by her siblings and her own children as she often shared her beliefs over the years. However, Jean and her children had long since lost contact with her siblings and most of her maternal side of the family. Due to circumstances not quite clear to many within the family, the Johnson sisters were notoriously bitter, and continuously at odds with each other. My argument on this point is supported by statements I obtained during a conversation I had with the oldest, and sole surviving Johnson sister Helen Brooks. My Great Aunt Helen told me that her sisters use to argue so much that it made her sick to her stomach. Helen never did expound upon the extent or the arguments or the premise for them. What is clear, is that many of the Johnson sisters went to their graves with seemingly egregious disdain and tremendous dislike for each other.

So, Aunt Roxie’s beliefs that Adele was her sister got a tremendous boost upon my mother’s passing. When her daughter Dana saw Adele’s obituary she inquired to her mother who she was. When Roxie told Dana that it was her cousin Adele she had talked about over the years, Dana said “well she looks exactly like grandma (Lois Jean Johnson),” and the ball began to roll. Dana who had already been conducting genealogy searches for her father’s family, began to launch a campaign to find her mother’s relatives as well. Dana was successful in locating one of her grandmother sister’s granddaughters, and the path to Adele’s children was obtained. On exactly October 2, 2013 when I first made contact with my cousin Dana, the entire secrecy of my mother’s true identity began to unfold.

What happened next is simply incredible. Dana nor her mother could have in a million years predicted what they discovered. What turned out to just be a quest to locate lost family by them, actually launched the discovery that my siblings and I entire maternal heritage had been a complete fraud. Later on that night when I spoke to Roxie and her daughter Dana for the very first time in my life, I discovered that they in fact were true family members. Roxie’s recollection of my mother and father were on point, and she repeatedly described the unnerving physical resemblance that my mother had of her and her mom. To drive home the point, Dana sent me photographs of her grandmother (Lois Jean Johnson). Upon my receipt of those images, the gig was pretty much up. I knew then that something was drastically wrong regarding what I had been taught about my mother’s family. The likeness was so scary, it was almost as if I had seen a ghost. Even my cousin Dana who researched her maternal genealogy in the image below, possesses an extremely unnerving likeness to my mother, and my siblings and me.


I immediately forwarded the images to my siblings who echoed my perspective that something was wrong. Upon viewing Lois Jean Johnson’ photographs, my eldest brother subsequently concluded that she was in fact our true grandmother. His position was exacerbated when God placed on my heart that I had contacted my brothers ten years prior regarding my mother’s birth certificate. I hold possession of all of my mother’s vital records, and while organizing storage one day I began to browse through some of her belongings and found her birth certificate. I noticed that it had Otis Adele White listed as her father, and Lois Jean Johnson listed as her mother. Now of course at the time I knew that my allege grandmother had a sister name Jean, but I was so overwhelmed by the shocking discovery of Dorothy Mae Johnson not appearing on her birth certificate, that my memory drew a complete blank. Hell the Johnson family name didn’t even ring a bell.

Due to my excitement and shock, I began to contact my siblings and I stated that I believe momma was adopted. I tried to explain my discovery to them, but what I was trying to convey was so over the top and bizarre to them that they quickly dismissed what I was saying. An argument ensued regarding our mother’s birth record and caused us not to speak for many years. Of course once this incident was conveyed to Roxie and Dana, serious credibility was born related to Lois Jean Johnson actually having given birth to my mother. Dana and I would then go on to engage in a volume of phone discussions as she shared with me the volume of records she had obtained pertaining to our family history. My siblings later apologized to me after realizing that compelling evidence now existed which challenged our mother’s maternity.

The Criminal Aspect Of The Family Secret

Dana’s research of the family dates back to the early/mid 1700’s, but those shocking revelations were overshadowed by the discovery that Lois Jean Johnson was only 10 years older then my mother (Adele). My own personal research of granddaddy Otis White’s birth date revealed that he was 19 years older than my mother. This discovery has since been viewed as potentially the very cause of Adele’s maternity having been concealed. We initially concluded that the social climate during the mid 1940’s was so strict that a 10 year old child having become pregnant would have caused the family to be exposed to tremendous public scrutiny, and at the time of Adele’s birth Lettie Johnson only had two daughter’s of legal child bearing age. The oldest daughter Catherine had just given birth to Veronica several months prior, therefore, Dorothy was named as Adele’s mother.

A volume of witness who were living during that era have conveyed to me that the common practice for such an unheard of situation, dictated that the pregnant minor child had to be sent away until the baby was born. The girls were normally sent to live with relatives in southern rural states where she would bring very little attention to herself. Once the child was born the child mother and the baby would be sent back home, only someone else other than the baby’s real mother would raise the child. Since my mother was actually raised by Lettie Johnson, we believe that this is exactly what occurred in Adele’s case, only the family created the falsehood that Dorothy was Adele’s mother because Jean was just a 10-11 year old child.

If this scenario played out as we believe, it is quite understandable that Adele’s identity would have been concealed due to the stringent social code of that era, but over the years when society began to place less scrutiny on child parenting, it raises serious concerns as to why Adele’s identity wasn’t disclosed in later years when her children and other family members were more mature, and could handle such a disclosure. That’s when further investigation revealed that the Johnson family may have continued to conceal the family secret under duress. Adele’s paternal grandfather Archie Sturdivant was a well known member of organized crime during the 40′ and 50’s in Baltimore. His son Otis White was reportedly a loan shark and ran some of the muscle work to collect debt from people who owed money. Some say that people living in Baltimore during the time would simply do what they were told out of fear of losing there homes or may even have been killed.

These two scenarios are the most probable rationalizations which caused our mother and maternal grandmother to not only conceal their true relationship to each other, but they literally took such a closely kept secret into their deaths. Regardless if the pressures of a stick societal code or fear of retaliation from would be gangsters is what actually caused their identities to be obscured, the fact remains that at the very minimum my maternal grandfather raped a ten year old child, which resulted in the birth of my mother Sylvania Adele White. Something extraordinary must have transpired if my calculation of the facts are accurate. If Otis Adele White is in fact my mother’s biological father as we believe, then it’s simply incredible that he could have fathered a child with a ten year old little girl, and not only maintain a relationship with the child he produced under these circumstances, but some how having his middle name given to the child. The fact that there apparently was no criminal charges ever filed against him supports my belief that some unique arrangements were possibly established related to my mother’s birth.

Rejection Of The Truth

The sudden disclosure of my mother’s true parentage has not come without controversy. Despite very compelling discovery related to this matter, there are people within our family who remain in disbelief that Adele is in fact the biological daughter of the late Lois Jean Johnson. I also believe that there are family members who know the truth and have refused to share what knowledge they have regarding this family secret. During my dialogue with many of them who I suspect of concealing pertinent facts related to my mother’s parentage, I discovered a volume of inconsistencies in much of what I was told. Notwithstanding the fact that anyone with good vision who has interacted with both Jean and Adele, couldn’t possibly ignore their physical likeness, and most certainly should have questioned whether or not Adele was Jean’s daughter. My siblings and I saw images of Lois Jean Johnson nearly 70 years after my mother’s birth for the very first time, and it was instantly clear to us that Jean was our mother’s real mom.

Others have even sought to attack me personally on social media for expressing my views regarding our family’s social history. Some may even view my Aunt Roslyn and my cousin Dana as trouble makers for stirring up such controversy within the family. That perspective couldn’t be more further from the truth. Aunt Roslyn and cousin Dana have admitted that the revelations which have derived from our establishing contact with each other, are not only shocking but were never anticipated by them. Dana grew up hearing her mom’s stories about her cousin Adele her entire life. My mother’s obituary finally revealed to Dana what her mother had been saying for years. When Dana saw the obituary for the first time, she asked her mom who it was, and when she learned that it was the infamous cousin Adele her mother had been talking abut for years, she immediately said “well mama she looks just like grandma (Lois Jean Johnson).” Not only that, but Aunt Roslyn nor Dana knew that my brothers and I had fallen out over our mother’s birth record prior to them having caught up with us, and when Jean’s other direct descendants finally met the hidden ones (my mother’s children), all of this simply came out into the open.

With that being said, it’s very strange that once Dana saw Adele’s picture for the first time, and when my brothers and I saw Jean’s picture for the first time, that we all collectively became suspicious and continuously interacted while engaging in fact finding measures until we all arrived at the conclusion, that our mother’s true identity had been concealed for some reason for nearly 70 years. Now that these extremely troubling facts have been disclosed, I will not rest until our mother’s dignity has been fully restored. One of the most disturbing details of this incredible story is attempting to simply imagine not being able to embrace a mother or a daughter to the extent of their real biological relation. My oldest brother has taken serious issue with this element of the story, and believes that our mother and biological maternal grandmother both are entitled to the dignified announcement of their true identities, even if it’s only in their deaths, and I concur with his perspective.

When I first began to experience resistance from members of my family regarding who my mom’s real mother was, I thought that I was only encountering the dysfunction which has permeated our family for decades. However, when family members are heartless enough and lack compassion by conveying to you “nobody cares,” and realizing that it’s your mother that they’re talking about, it’s a natural reaction to want to get in their behinds over it. Ironically, some of the same family members either don’t know who their true parents are, or are rumored to have been fathered by some other relative within the same family. Now is this an Indictment that I am casting on my own family? Of course not, but when you tell me as a family member that “nobody cares” who my mother’s biological mother was, it speaks volumes about the depth of our relationship, and renders you to be insignificant from that day forward.

I have come to realize over the years that my family consist of various factions. My great grandmother’s six daughters (the seventh daughter Aunt Helen can’t be included, because she was raised by my great great grandmother, Mary Scott in Charlottesville, Virginia) were completely dysfunctional. I have heard this my entire life, and has often been offered as the sole rationalization as to why my siblings and I never met many of our great aunts. Additionally, the eldest of the Johnson siblings and the sole survivor, Helen Brooks confirmed what I had been hearing my entire life regarding how they didn’t get along. Therefore, the family is broken up into factions which are predicated on who got along with who. A perfect example is how we never met Jean nor any of her children, despite the fact that she was our biological grandmother. Hell, we had never saw a picture of our real grand mother util our late 40’s and early 50’s. The woman who was suppose to be my grandmother Dorothy Mae Johnson, didn’t get along with Lois Jean Johnson, according to some of her children. I was told that “Fats'” (Dorothy) kids didn’t interact with Jeans kids, because every time they would come around their mother would always say those bitches and mother “f#*@ers. Also, there are cousins that I lived down the street from for years who had been interacting with my Aunt Roslyn and some of her sisters, and never told me who they were. Consequently, I walked passed many of my first cousins on the street and never knew who they were for years.

Due to our cousin Dana’s diligence, she was successful in contacting at least one relative of every sibling allegedly born to the late Lettie and William Johnson. Despite many of us having grown up not ever having met great aunts and other Johnson family members, we have now began to meet and learn about cousins we never met before, or only heard about their parents over the course of our lives. The dysfunction and disruption of the Johnson siblings has lasted for decades, and while other family members were impacted by such a broken heritage, I can’t help not to think that perhaps Jean Johnson was purposefully hidden from Adele’s children, with her consent. How else do you explain us not ever having seen her picture our entire lives until now? It almost seems as if the tremendous resistance to our discovery of Lois Jean Johnson’s significance to the Adams boys was never suppose to have occurred. I am very troubled by the fact that the very same petty bitterness, ignorance, and dysfunction which has prohibited our family from bonding, is continuing to occur until this present day by descendants of some of the very people who went to their graves with animosity toward their own siblings. The truth has been revealed now, and even the stringent toxicity of our family dysfunction can’t change the facts.

The Fall Out From Family Fraud

There are those people both publicly and within my family who are prepared to arrive at the basic resolve that these kinds of stories are indigenous to black families due to slavery and other social factors that have impacted black people since the onset of our nation. I wish that could look upon this entire ordeal with such broad stroke of apathy related to my lineage. The fact of the matter is that our mother left this earth not able to acknowledge her biological mother, while having to resort to calling her sister her mother. She never shared this with any of her children and the obvious reality that we will never know directly from her why she concealed her identity is unacceptable. you would think that the so called family members who know the truth and say that they love us, would break their silence and tell us what they know. The fact that they either fail or refuse to do so, in my mind, has changed the course of our family for ever.

Moreover, this “family secret” and it’s fraudulence has come at a price to my siblings and I. I could accept this discovery better if Jean only had one or two children, but she had 9 children other than my mother. Of the nine kids there were six girls and three boys. Our Aunts Barbara, Linda, Deborah, Myra, and uncles Tyrone, Jippy, and Pooh have already gone on to be with the lord. Only aunt Roslyn and Rosetta remain. We will never have the privilege of knowing our mother’s other siblings. It’s disturbing and anyone in our family who can not empathize with us having realized that our entire maternal heritage has been nothing but a complete fraud, is not family, and quite frankly can just go straight to hell.

The enormity of having 26 first cousins that we had never met is actually still settling in. Last year I met many of the Scott/Johnson 5th and 6th generation descendants during the Thanksgiving Holiday. I was amazed at the level of social accord without the typical arguing, drinking, and drug usage usually displayed by my maternal side of our family. While I’m simply utilizing my literary prowess to further expose our family secret to resurrect my mother and biological grandmother’s dignity, there will be those who will emerge once again criticizing my posture. Those efforts like the last will also fall, because at the end of the day, the fraudulence of telling Adele’s kids that Dorothy Mae Jones (God rest her soul) was Adele’s mother, severs our direct bloodline to the family. I will fight tooth and nail until death to eradicate such an untruth from existence. Jean Lois Johnson is Adele’s direct link to the Scott/Johnson family and this must be known by Adele’s children, their descendants, and onward. We can only thank God for finally bringing us out of the darkness and into the light.

To Be Continued –

The People’s Champion
I’m David Adams

NYPD Knew Rogue Chokehold Cop Had Integrity Issues: 350 Pound Man Heard Repeatedly Saying “I Can’t Breathe” While Cop Choked Him To Death


The smear campaign has already began, while NY police and their union officials covertly and deliberately try to tarnish and negatively impact the character of 43-year-old Eric Garner who died during a confrontation with cops in Staten Island. All in an attempt to overshadow what the whole entire world has seen, cops choking a black man to death and allowing him to lay on the ground unassisted for nearly eight minutes until he died. If you listen to the police’ version, Garner is depicted as a scumbag criminal who resisted arrest, and was responsible for causing his own death. His crime? Cops allege that he sold illegal (untaxed)  loose cigarettes. It’s a crime almost guaranteed not to make the six o’clock news, and a petty offense most cops wouldn’t even deem worth writing a criminal citation for. Now suddenly, there are rumors circulating around that Eric Garner had a history of confrontations with NYPD regarding the untaxed cigarette solicitation beef that subsequently led to his death. Only this time the entire ordeal was captured on a video for all to see.

In the cellphone video recorded by an eyewitness, dialogue from cops to Garner are barely audible, but Garner is clearly agitated, and reveals that cops are accusing him of selling something. He is also seen describing what he calls harassment by police, who he says continuously stops him. Garner practically begs cops to leave him alone. Although Garner was visibly agitated, he made no gestures which could be interpreted as acts of aggression toward the police or anyone else. The video clearly shows that barring Garner’s claims that cops suspected him of illegal solicitation, no probable cause for his arrest existed. The cops never asked for his identification nor conducted a pre-arrest pat down or search of Garner. For some reason the cops simply defaulted to exacting an arrest of him midway of their field interview. More importantly, cops never attempted to deescalate the tension that existed which caused Garner to be highly agitated. If sufficient cause existed for his arrest, calming Garner down should have been paramount to avoid a physical confrontation with him and police personnel during the process of restraining him with handcuffs. It’s just not smart to attempt to take down a 300 plus pound man in such a highly agitated state. Police are trained to insure their own personal safety as well as that of the public while making an arrest.

The fact that Garner posed no threat to police nor the public during the incident, highlights how cops clearly were the aggressors who were looking for a confrontation. Instead of calming Garner down the cops honed in on him, and when Garner lifted his arms in resistance, a NYPD officer put Garner in a choke hold and forced him down on to the ground. Eric Garner who is asthmatic can clearly be heard stating “I can’t breathe” at least five times, but an officer is seen continuously applying the choke hold, and completely ignoring Garner’s statements of distress revealing his inability to breathe. Garner is eventually placed in handcuffs, and appeared to be unconscious and non responsive on the ground. No NYPD officer attempted to ascertain whether or not Garner could actually breathe (one officer told an onlooker that “he’s breathing”), attempt CPR on Garner, nor any other form of first aid which they are trained and required to perform. In fact, a close and thorough observation of the entire video reveals that cops may have realized that Garner wasn’t breathing at all, and began to conduct damage control and limit the public’s ability to view the scene. Various police officials are seen and overheard directing the public back away from the area where Garner was taken to the ground by cops. None of the onlookers were close enough to impede or disrupt cop’s ability to tend to Garner, but for those familiar with police tactics in New York, it was clear that Garner was in very serious trouble as he lay on the ground.

The eyewitness’ video lasted about seven minutes and thirty five seconds (7:35). The EMS arrived four minutes into the incident, and of the four paramedics who responded to the scene, only one of them attempted to ascertain Garner’s health status. She simply took his pulse and advised cops that he was breathing. Police and EMS attempt to arouse Garner by asking him questions and giving him commands, but as Garner lay motionless on the ground, it’s highly doubtful that the EMS official’s claim that he was breathing, was in fact true.  On the video Garner appeared to be unconscious, unresponsive, and not breathing at all. None of the trained EMS officials on the scene attempted to administer CPR or even give Garner oxygen. That was a tremendous error and may have been the deciding element of this entire tragic case that resulted in Eric Garner’s death. The four EMS workers have since been placed on administrative suspension without pay, and the cop who put Garner in a choke hold had his badge and gun taken, while he was placed on routine desk duty. Although it appears that swift action was taken against the trained EMS workers and one NYPD police officer, there is still concern that the death of Eric Garner will slip under the radar as many cop involved deaths do within the NYPD. Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who appeared to put Garner in the chokehold, had to turn in his badge and his gun. Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, called that decision by the police department “completely unwarranted” and “absolutely wrong” in a statement.

Public concern largely centers around recent reports that officer Pantaleo has had complaints of misconduct filed against him on seven separate occasions in his 8 year stint with the NYPD. Pantaleo was actually sued in two of those incidents for violating the civil rights of people he has arrested, one in which NYPD paid $30,000.00 to settle a suit. In the first case, two men — Darren Collins and Tommy Rice said that Pantaleo and another officer strip-searched them on a Staten Island street, in the middle of the day, after pulling them over. According to the 2012 lawsuit, Pantaleo and his colleague handcuffed Collins and Rice and then “pulled down the plaintiffs’ pants and underwear, and touched and searched their genital areas, or stood by while this was done in their presence.” In the first case, two men — Darren Collins and Tommy Rice — said that Pantaleo and another officer strip-searched them on a Staten Island street, in the middle of the day, after pulling them over. According to the 2012 lawsuit, Pantaleo and his colleague handcuffed Collins and Rice and then “pulled down the plaintiffs’ pants and underwear, and touched and searched their genital areas, or stood by while this was done in their presence.” 

The details of the second lawsuit, which is still pending, are a bit unclear. The Advance reports that a man named Rylawn Walker sued Pantaleo this past winter for arresting him even though he was “committing no crime at that time and was not acting in a suspicious manner.” Walker, who faced marijuana charges that were later thrown out, also claims that Pantaleo “misrepresented facts in the police reports and other documents that the plaintiff had committed offenses when in fact this was not true.” The veteran cop’s jacket paints a disturbing image of a rogue police officer who has integrity issues. Pantaleo’s alleged tendency to be dishonest will probably be less relevant in the Garner case, since there is video of the arrest. Still, the odds of Pantaleo losing his job — or even getting suspended from it — appear slim, at least based on the NYPD’s history of handling chokehold complaints. However, those police disciplinary practices were under Commissioner Ray Kelly’s watch during the Mike Bloomberg administration.

With a new Chief  of Police and a new mayor who ran on an election campaign platform to overhaul the NYPD (primarily due to “stop and frisk”), the jury is still out in the eyes of public opinion, intensely waiting to seen if  the old NYPD tactics will actually change. Sadly, Garner’e death is like a scene from Sipke Lee’s epic film “Do The Right Thing,” which depicts NYPD cops choking character “Radio Raheem” to death on a New York street over a boom box radio. If NYPD’s response is any indication as how this will all play out, it’ doesn’t look very promising for the family and friends of Eric Garner. Initial NYPD reports indicate that Garner wasn’t in much distress, despite the video recording clearly capturing Garner telling cops that he couldn’t breathe. Police officials even omitted the fact that officer Pantaleo had used a chokehold on Garner during his arrest. The city’s medical examiner hasn’t even made a final determination as to how Eric Garner died.

Many believe that the entire case could go in any direction considering that it’s the NYPD involved in this case, it just depends on how the District Attorney wants to spin the case. If Pantaleo walks with no serious discipline in this case, it sets the stage for a new brand of injustice, as cops will now be able to kill private citizens and have those actions captured on recording, and still face no serious reprisals from departmental brass when clear violations of departmental policy have been established. Based on his past history, officer Pantaleo is a dirty cop and the NYPD new about it, and allowed him to remain on the force. Now a man is dead, and the video recording erases all possibilities for Pantaleo to lie his way out of this one. He was caught on tape using an illegal chokehold on a man that had long since been banned by NYPD. Many are curious to see what excuse or rationalization NYPD uses to keep him on the force now. What a tragic story!



The People’s Champion 

I’m David Adams  



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