Friday, March 14, 2014

Roland Martin and Benjamin Crump tag-teaming misinformation, Again

Roland Martin and Attorney Benjamin Crump go way back when it comes to misrepresenting facts in a high profile case.  The first I'd ever heard of Martin was the Trayvon Martin case.  Fresh from being fired from CNN for a homophobic tweet during a ball game, he was looking for another gig.  He found the Trayvon Martin case and the rest is gravy train history.  

 Today's Interview by Roland Martin with Benjamin Crump, Esquire, is much the same. Half truths and innuendo about the death of a young black man, Kendrick Johnson. Audio here

Transcript - any errors are unintentional. Please ask before re-blogging or using the transcript.

Intro by Roland Martin: "Tom, we have been on top of this Kendrick Johnson case, the young man in Georgia who was found dead, they said oh he was reaching for a shoe in a wrestling mat and fell down the mat and it's all kind of (indistinguishable) drama, and uh, now, yesterday, subpoenas have now been issued compelling testimony from students at the school, right? We're joined by Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Kendrick Johnson family. Ben, initially the department said, 'case closed, the kid died by accident'.

Crump: "Absolutely Roland and Tom, it's a major development because of
those students that might have been involved are being compelled to talk now - either that or they have to plead the fifth ammenment [sic] and we understand that more than 120 subpoenas went out. Half the town of Valdosta is being forced to come to the US Attorney office, Michael Moore in the middle distrcit of Georgia and are commanded to answer quorshtins [sic] about Kendrick Johnson"

Roland Martin: "This is not the local DA, this is the US Attorney?"

Crump: "Yes, this is the justice department, Michael Moore, the US Attorney MAKING them answer the quorshtins [sic]"

Tom: "Now, is the Sheriff's son involved or going to be subpoenaed?"
For the fiftieth time, Sheriff Prine does not have a son.

Crump: "Well, a law officer's son, his two sons as we understand are being subpoenaed and made to answer quorshtins [sic]. Now they can plead the fifth, but that will be very telling."
Both boys have air tight alibis for the window of opportunity when this death could have occurred...they could not possibly have been involved...but don't let that stop you...

Roland Martin: "They can plead the fifth but the way Grand Juries work Ben, you cannot bring an attorney with you into the Grand Jury"

Crump: "Absolutely Roland, you up on your law. You have to come alone, the lawyer can try to block you from testifying so it's going to be interesting how this plays out because it's going to tell us a lot because we KNOW Kendrick di-int [sic] get stuck in a wrestling mat, stop breathing, and die."
You KNOW that's not what happened? I'd be interested in hearing how you KNOW that Mr. Crump. The US Attorney has no new leads or information, they are simply re-interviewing the same people who were interviewed initially.

Unknown: "How many people?"

Crump: "Oh about 120." ".. and what's most imporent [sic] they could bring corruption charges because remember Tom, the VIDEO (undistinguishable) just mysteriously stops when Kendrick goes into the gym and everybody has said 'that is so unprobable, how can your cameras all stop when Kendrick is in there?'"
Motion sensors Ben, that's how.  But you knew that. Please tell me you knew that.

Tom: "Now Ben, Ben, for those who don't know the case, take us back, what happened? What did they say happened to Kendrick Johnson"

Crump: "Real simple, Kendrick's parents sent him to school with a book bag, he was returned to them Tom, in a body bag the next day. He was found rolled up, he uh, had bruises, had abrasions, but yet they said none of this happened was part of his death, he was just trynna [sic] get his tennis shoes, got stuck and died..and what's so crazy about it.."
He was not "rolled up" in the mat.  the mat was already rolled up and behind close to twenty other mats.  No bruises and the "abrasions" were due to skin slippage and bodily fluid, blood pressuring the skin to separate.  View photo (with caution), of Kendrick after 18-24 hours of being upside down in the gym mat.

Roland: "and Ben, this took place on January 11, that's when it took place.."

Crump: "and what's so crazy about it is when his parents exhumed his body his internal organs was missin, all his internal organs were  missin and he was stuffed with newspaper, so, the only thing we had to go by was what the Georgia medical examiner said and they quickly concluded that this a, uh, accidental death, that there was no foul play.  His parents have refused to accept that..I..go ahead Roland."
Organs were examined.  Slides of tissue from those organs were used in the second autopsy.  Second autopsy did not mention newspaper or missing organs.

Roland Martin: "They said, they called it 'positional asphyxia" or suffocation by his own body weight, that was the official ruling of the autopsy"

Tom: "Rolled up in a wrestling mat"

The Mat Test - See a demonstration of a young, healthy man trying to get out of a rolled up gym mat (this was not part of Roland Martin's show)

Roland Martin: "Rolled up in a wrestling mat, and what they said Tom is, he dropped his shoe and it fell down in the wrestling mat and he climbed into the wrestling mat to get his shoe, vs the way anybody else like us push the mat over if your shoe at the bottom."
No one knows whether or not he  "dropped" his shoe into the mat.  According to the other kids, they kept their shoes inside the rolled up mats because many kids didn't care to use their lockers.  They would run in between classes and change shoes.   He could not have "pushed the mat over" because it was vertical and placed behind at least 20 or so other mats.

Crump: "yeah, and we believe he was, it was foul play, he was murdered, rolled in that wrestling mat and stuck in the gym"
Wow, in that order Ben?  I don't recall seeing anyone dragging an 8' mat out of or  into the gym.  Maybe they were walking really slow and didn't set off the cameras?  I mean, how do you explain this not being seen by any of the cameras?  And not only stuck in the gym, but stuck behind many vertical mats that took several students to pull out of the way to get to Kendrick.

Crump: "Two BIG important things to note, the children started texting at 7:15 in the morning that a young boy was found rolled up in the wrestling mat. There's a quorshtin [sic] that the 911 operator didn't get called until 10:00 and they were told it was a cardiac episode. They were never told anybody died, The US Attorney is looking into that as well because that's corruption.
Not one single word of this paragraph is true or substantiated save for Martin and Crumps lack of knowledge on EMT procedure. The EMT calls always refer to cardiac arrest for dead body because that means the heart has stopped, and no one had yet made a determination as to how the death occurred---it doesn't mean "the EMTS weren't told there's a dead body".  It's standard EMT language for "dead body".  There's that corruption word again. Corruption = $$$$

Roland Martin: "So what you got here is because all these kids today use social media and text by subpoenaing them they can also get all their phone records and then pull the texts to see what communication took place between, uh, students."
What did they find on the 200 pages of texts, from phone records, they've already taken from the students?  Anything?  They are in the case file, you both should at least give it a skim sometime. 

Crump: "Absolutely, and one last thing Roland, don't forget the power that black America (indistinguishable) has, we're having a rally on April 4 at the US Attorney's office in Macon, Georgia, so I don't think it's a coincidence that before we all get there on April 4th, to his office, he's trying to make sure he does something."
Isn't that cute, taking credit for something the US Attorney's office is doing and had scheduled to do before the March 12 announcement that there would be a rally April 4. Reminds me of when the school filed a motion so that YOUR clients could get the school video tapes since it was apparent your team was never going to.  You took credit for that too.  You're a hoot Mr. Crump!

By the way - anyone planning to attend this rally and expecting to see Al Sharpton or anyone from NAN, they will not be in attendance.  One of Al Sharpton's employees was (allegedly) let go for not informing him of the facts prior to Sharpton's appearance in Valdosta back in May.  No one from Sharpton's group has attended a Johnson rally in Valdosta since May. He has never had the Johnson family on his show.  Even Sharpton can't attach himself to such a poorly orchestrated hoax.  In October the Johnson family advertised Sharpton would be at a rally and he was a no was his organization.

Flyer posted to JFKJ page on March 12, days after the subpoenas had been issued and on the same day Jackie Johnson posted:

Roland: "Well this is a huge development subpoenaing more than 100 + students of course in the case of Kendrick Johnson and Tom it's been said that because the US Attorney's office his investigation can go all kinds of different directions so whether it's cover up, whether it's corruption, whether it's even, uh, obstruction of justice, uh, and so this is a huge development and I'm sure, uh, Kendrick's parents are pleased, uh, things are happening. Ben Crump thank you so much for being here, we appreciate it."
Uh, did you get it all in?  

Crump: "Thank you attorney Roland."  

Update and answer to comment by Victoria Graves:
Your statement is again incorrect, there is a twitter message sent from what is now a former student sent January 11, 2013 at 7:34 AM, another from a students mother at 8:36 AM and another at 9:51 AM. Of course, these accounts would need to be verified with twitter as to the settings of the time stamp and if they were set for Eastern Standard Time when the twitter account was first set up, as some people do fail to adjust the local time stamp and it would default to PST
Victoria is referring to the tweets in this article.  The time you see on tweets is YOUR time, not the time of the person posting the tweet (I learned this the hard way), so different time zones will see a different time.  I am in a time zone (CST), that is one hour behind Valdosta, Georgia (EST). So this tweet  that was supposed to have been tweeted at 7:34, shows 9:34 am CST on my computer, which would make it 10:34 am EST, in Valdosta when the tweet was written.  I am not sure where 7:34 came from.

The next tweet mentioned: "At 8:36 am, a Lowndes High parent (off-campus) received a tweet which reiterates that a body was found."
Here is what I see, 10:36 CST, which would be 11:36 EST Valdosta time:
The next tweets mentioned: "As early as 9:51 am in the morning, there were tweets that local authorities from Thomasville's GBI office and the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office were already on the scene." I see 11:51 am CST, which would be 12:51 PM EST

I hope that cleared up the rhetoric as regards the time difference for you.   Thank you for reading and commenting.

Yesterday I posted the phone greeting for the United States Attorney's office in Macon, Georgia - first option for callers: "if you are calling in support of the Kendrick Johnson case, press 4".  Even Spanish speaking citizens are pushed back.

More on the Kendrick Johnson case:
Mar 09, 2014
Last week I interviewed a few people I was put in touch with by someone who is in Valdosta and knew KJ (Kendrick), Johnson until he was in the 7th grade. We will call my source Phillip. Phillip also knew the family of the two ...
Feb 10, 2014
This is the one and only time I am going to post this and I am posting it because Jackie Johnson, the mother of Kendrick Johnson, would never admit her post-autopsy picture had been photo-shopped. Thank you to the person ...
Feb 13, 2014
The photo I posted a few days ago of Kendrick Johnson just before his autopsy, and 48 hours after his death, was shown to Rev. Floyd Rose, SCLC President in Valdosta, Georgia. Rev. Rose has only seen the photograph ...
Feb 09, 2014
A few days ago I wrote a blog about the sister of Kendrick Johnson and rumors of bullying she was involved in. Not only Kenyetta Johnson, but most of the Johnson family are targeting a boy they are accusing of "murdering" ...