Racist Cop’s Buddy Threatens Reporter


Deputy Apologizes For Threatening Journalist Over MySpace Story

It was just another day on the job for journalist Corey Pein, but then it all changed…

The threat reads, “Well thanks to your coworker’s thoughtlessness my coworker was terminated.”

“Let’s just hope he doesn’t get caught speeding or stepping out of line. We will be sure to show him how (expletive) life can really be.”

WRDWMore


{Original story follows}


METRO SPIRIT | NEWS | Metro Beat

Another officer in trouble

Deputy sends threatening e-mail to newspaper
By Corey Pein

Last week, Metro Spirit editor Tom Grant received a threatening e-mail from a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy. In its entirety, the e-mail read:

“well thanks to your cowork’s thoughtlessness my coworker was terminated. I hope Mr. Pein is happy. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get caught speeding or stepping out of line. We will be sure to show him how shitty life can really be. Thanks Tom for your time.”

The e-mail was sent Thursday, Nov. 16, at 2:25 p.m. That was more than one hour before The Augusta Chronicle‘s Web site reported that Deputy Jason Izquierdo was fired as a result of the images and Nog entries the Metro Spirit found on his MySpace page.

Izquierdo’s page, where he called himself “Saintslaysin,” had featured a looped video clip from the movie “American History X,” in which a Swastika-tattooed
Neo-Nazi stomped a black man’s head into the curb. His blog entries included advice on cleaning blood from a police uniform and noted, “I didn’t realize how easily gold teeth can be removed.”

Two other deputies, Philip Hambrick and Colby Harrell, were suspended without pay and put on probation for
violating a department policy, issued in July, that forbade oflicerN from identifyin the with the sheriff’s depantnent on their personal Web pages.

On Sunday, The Chronicle editorialized that “the last thing Augusta needs is a racist cop.” Both Grant and The Chronicle have praised Sheriff Ronnie Strength for taking quick action.

Obviously, though. not everyone was pleased by the sheriff’s decision.

The e-mail we got last week was signed “Michael Thomas” and came from the address “madatmetro2006@yahoo.com.” The same person had written a long letter on Nov. 7 complaining about a Metro Spirit story on the police’s anti-gang efforts that escribed details of the deputies’ MySpace pages. (The text of that letter is posted on the Metro Spirit blog, accessible through metrospirit.com. The original story is also archived on our site.

“If the author of this article (Corey Pein) was out to make the sheriff’s office look stupid, immature, racist or a group of ‘gang bangers,’ then he did an outstanding job,” the Nov. 7 letter said. “I happen to know [SaintJaysin] and I can assure you that he is not a racist, and that he is not a cop out randomly beating people.”

The author said that an incident described in the original Metro Spirit story in which SaintJaysin wrote of hitting a suspect with a club, actually referred to the officer’s battle with an opossum.

Grant wrote back, asking for a phone number to confirm the letter’s authenticity.

“Unfortunately I would rather not give my phone number out because I do not want to reveal my identity,” the author replied the next day. “Let’s just say I could be reprimanded by my employer if they got wind of this.”

After lzquierdo was fired last week, and the e-mail’s author followed up with threats and identified himself as a police officer, the Metro Spirit notified Sheriff Strength.

Strength said that whoever wrote the letter had better not be a deputy, because “I don’t put up with crap like that, and they know that.”

Despite his attempts to disguise his identity, the Metro Spirit was able was able to track down the e-mail’s author. It turns out the Nov. 7 letter had been posted on his MySpace page before the Metro Spirit published it anywhere. The letter was prefaced ‘here is a copy of a letter that was sent to the Metro Spirit that I was able to obtain. Lets here what YOU think.”

Above the letter, the owner of the page, who gave his name as “Jason” and his age as 24, described his current mood as “accomplished.”

Elsewhere on his page, he listed his ooccupation as law enforcement, though he didn’t specifically state that he was with the sheriff’s department. “Ok so I’m a freaking cop,” he wrote on his blog.

In another entry, he asked friendnds a series of questions about their sex lives, including whether they’d ever had sex on a cop car. “NOTE: These are not personal experiences … well some of them are,” the deputy wrote.

The morning of Nov. 17, the the Metro Spirit delivered copies of the MySpace page to the department’s internal affairs division. They had been faxed a copy of the threatening e-mail the night before.

Sgt. Pat Young of internal affairs quickly identified the deputy by pictures posted on his MySpace page. Young told us the deputy would be meeting with Sherrif Strength about the e-mails and the Web site.

On Monday, Col. Gary Powell identified the deputy as Jason Brown. Powell said Brown is to appear before a disciplinary review board next Thursday, Nov. 30.

Sheriff Strength was out of town and could not be reached for comment. But last week, after firing Deputy Izquierdo, Strength said he was “absolutely” satisfied with the way the episode had been resolved, calling the MySpace pages “totally unprofessional.”

“If they want personal Web sites, that’s none of my business, Strength said. “But if they’re putting up things that are racially toned, identified with the sheriff’s department, I will never put up with that.”

Hijacking The Pirate Menace


Washington wraps its political ambitions in the Jolly Roger.

Despite their impressive exploits of late—seizing oil platforms off the coast of Nigeria and, memorably, firing rockets at a cruise ship off Somalia—modern maritime pirates have been robbed of the mystique that once made them stars of the criminal underworld.

Slate.com

It’s A Bitch


Scrounging, sleeping, scratching and fighting. Life goes on.

This is Hyena’s year. She doesn’t know this, and even if someone told her, she probably wouldn’t grasp the implications. For though she possesses a low-to-the-ground sort of wisdom, she doesn’t speak Thai, English or any of the Chinese dialects. The last time it was her year, in 1994, she would’ve been just a pup, or smaller still—pre-cellular.

IHT ThaiDay

{Complete story follows}


This is Hyena’s year. She doesn’t know this, and even if someone told her, she probably wouldn’t grasp the implications. For though she possesses a low-to-the-ground sort of wisdom, she doesn’t speak Thai, English or any of the Chinese dialects.

The last time it was her year, in 1994 she would’ve been just a pup, or smaller still—pre-cellular. Hyena carries no identification, and no one celebrates her birthday. In any case, the intervening years have been less than kind, and she wears them like a matted coat. She’s never seen the inside of a Thong Lot doggie spa and she never will.

Her teats sag. All 10 of them. Her health is dubious. s men who spend their days at the pier, chatting and count- She has mange. She could certainly stand to par on a few pounds.

Her companions, two fat, floppy-eared sisters, obviously hog all the food. Their coats are shiny, by comparison, and whereas Hyena cowers, they are social butterflies. The old men who spend their days at the pier, chatting and counting the minutes until the boat arrives, pet the sisters with their feet. Few dare touch Hyena. She slinks into the shade under the concrete bench and puts her head m between her paws.

She stays there, most of the time.

Sometimes one of the sisters picks a fight with her, unprovoked. She is no match, and the bigger dog, growling, digs her teeth into Hyena’s neck until one of the men stands up and kicks them apart. Only Hyena appears chastened.

The family here is somewhat dysfunctional. Does Hyena dream of running away? She looks like she ran away long ago; she has the manner of a once-gorgeous prostitute scarred by street life. If she has borne litters, they have not stayed to protect her.

Still, it could be worse. The newspapers these days are full of bad news concerning canines. There was the five-year-old man-child in Bangkok, reportedly “torn down by 10 stray dogs.” And in Phuket, the local press raised fears of “mass dog poisonings” by men driving around in a garbage truck after dark. The unfortunate creatures were not even strays. What kind of world is it where a dog can’t even walk the streets of her own town.

At night, an entirely different pack takes over the pier. The motorcycles are gone, the boats have stopped running. A group of four to six ridgebacks, looking young and athletic, encircles those who stray into their turf. At night, their turf. Hyena must go elsewhere. The sisters, too.

The howling from the street keeps me awake.

Food-For-Fighters-Deal


Mission Indefinite.

These agreements provide an affordable way for countries like Thailand that lack a developed defense industry to obtain military equipment…

In 1996, when Thailand bought eight F-18 fighters from McDonnell Douglas, the company accepted part of its payment in rubber, fruit and frozen chickens.

IHT ThaiDay

The New Wave


The Voice of America is being drowned out by a mix of pop-flavored propaganda.

Voice correspondents have historically felt some pressure to advocate for U.S. policy, but under the current administration, the pressure is barely disguised. The current Voice director, David Jackson, is a former Time reporter who left in 2001 to create the Pentagon’s p.r. Web site, DefendAmerica.gov. In 2004 he demoted the Voice’s popular news director, Andre deNesnera, who shortly after 9/11 had broadcast an interview with a Taliban leader. The interview led many, including William Safire of The New York Times, to attack the Voice on the ground that this was not the time to know thine enemy.

Columbia Journalism Review

Blog-Gate


Many important questions from ‘Memogate’ remain unanswered – often because they were never asked.

Ultimately, we don’t know enough to justify the conventional wisdom: that the documents were “apparently bogus” (as Howard Kurtz put it, reporting on Dan Rather’s resignation) and that a major news network was an accomplice to political slander.

Columbia Journalism Review (PDF)