GREGORY S. SMITH
ALLEGED RACIALLY PROFILED
NC MEDICAL DIRECTOR PETITIONS
MO. ATTY GENERAL FOR
By Cash Michaels
A Fayetteville clinical director who alleges that he was illegally racially profiled by a Missouri state highway patrolman, and later forced to walk approximately 6 miles to his rental car in the dark of night, has now formally asked the Missouri attorney general and the governor; as well as the city administrator, city council and police chief of Platte City, Missouri; to mount a“formal investigation’ respectively into the incident as his court date soon approaches.
Gregory S. Smith, clinical director of PromptCare Clinic in Fayetteville, says that he made the October 15th written request after it became clear that attorney he originally hired to represent him in the case “…isn’t advising or aggressive.”
Smith feels he had to do something on his own because his case has been moved up from its original November 16th date, to now November 9th.
“Perhaps he's intimidated by law enforcement there….,” Smith says of his old attorney, adding that it was “ridiculous” that he had to “…constantly contact this guy for updates.”
Smith is vigorously trying to secure a new attorney, especially with the new court date approaching. In the meantime he is hopeful that the 9-1-1 call and available trooper dash cam video of the incident will be able to help him plead his case in a Missouri courtroom, and assist any investigation mounted by officials in the “show-me” state.
In his written request for a formal investigation -duly notarized in Cumberland County - Smith recounted how, on August 6th of this year, he landed in Kansas City from North Carolina and secured his rental car to take him to his hotel in order to rest up for a medical conference he was attending nearby. It was after midnight when a Missouri state trooper pulled Smith over on the highway. Smith writes “to this very day, I still have no clue as to why I was pulled over, and I was given no explanation by the officer.’
All the while, Smith has called 9-1-1 on his cellphone, and is holding his phone in his hand on the steering wheel so that his tense exchange with the trooper can be both heard and recorded.
The trooper, demanding that the Black motorist produce a driver's license, then makes “…threatening, taunting, baiting, verbal commands [that] gave me the clear impression that he wanted me to make a sudden gesture that would allow him to [shoot] and kill me,” Smith writes. Then he states that he demands that a supervisor come to the scene, and he will present his license then.
The trooper then becomes “incensed and irate,” Smith alleges, and threatens to pepper spray him, and the other officers showing up on scene were “…gonna physically drag you you out of this vehicle, and physically go through yo personal belongings and take yo drivers’ license.”
Smith writes that he makes sure the 9-1-1 operator is hearing all that is being said, which she confirms, and that a supervisor will be on scene momentarily. In the meantime Smith says he felt as if his life “was in danger” as a more incensed Missouri state trooper “in the most verbally violent and hostile way…” continued to “threaten physical abuse and harm…six times within a five minute period.”
Other troopers came prepared to force Smith from his vehicle, when he says, a supervisor did come up on the other side, and asked Smith to produce his driver’s license, which the Black driver slowly and carefully did.
Then he slowly exited the vehicle, at which point he was thrust against the car by the trooper, had his legs pushed open, bent over the hood, and aggressively told the he was under arrest and tightly handcuffed.
Smith insists that even though he was taken to a Highway Patrol station to be booked, “I was never given an explanation for being stopped. And I was not given a reason for being arrested, nor was I mirandized.”
In his written petition to Missouri officials to investigate, Smith does not go into how badly his wrists were injured from the handcuffs (he had to go to the emergency room); how the troopers had a hard time justifying the arrest on forms, but still charged him $1,040 to not get locked up; and how, after 90 minutes when no cab showd up, he was forced to leave the Highway Patrol station in the dead of night to find his rental car six miles away at a gas station.
Gregory Smith concluded his written petition for an investigation with, “it is my opinion that I was wrongfully stopped, unlawfully arrested and racially profiled. Your prompt attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.”
As has been previously reported in recent years, the Missouri State Attorney General’s Office has reported that African-Americans have comprised 75-85 percent of law enforcement vehicle stops in the state of Missouri.The problem is so bad, the state NAACP president there issued a cautionary “travel advisory” for out-of-state blacks coming there.
ATTORNEY IRVING JOYNER
AS SELECT COMMITTEE PROBE
GROWS, NC’S CONNECTION TO
JAN. 6TH SIEGE INTENSIFIES
By Cash Michaels
As the Congressional Select Investigative Committee probe into the Jan. 6th attacks on the U.S. Capitol attacks gains both prominence and headlines as to what led up to one of the most stunning insurrections in our nation’s history, one fact is becoming clear - North Carolina played an important role, and could very well continue to play an important role in any further attack on America’s democracy.
Why is that important to African-Americans? Because, observers say, short-circuiting the impact of the Black vote, either by redistricting, voting restrictions, voter intimidation, or violence seem to be the weapons of choice on several fronts.
“The violent, deadly insurrection nine months ago . It was about white supremacy, in my view,” said President Joe Biden recently.
Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) agreed.
“America is clearly brown now, and that’s the fear of these white supremacists,” she said last January after escaping the Capitol attacks. “[They feel] like they are superior….[that] they are the ones who own this country.”
Congressman Bennie Thompson (D- Miss) told CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday, “ It’s clear that those elements would love to deny people of color their rights in this democracy,” later adding, “I think the public saw for themselves when they saw Confederate flags, when they saw anti-Semitic symbols being displayed. Those things clearly represent a philosophy that is anti-democratic and racist.”
As the Charlotte Observer has reported, “ North Carolina was in the middle of a multi-state conspiracy to recruit, train, and arm potentially violent militia members to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.”
A March 2021 report in Scalawagmagazine,org titled Go There Ready for War - Militia Organizing in North Carolina in the Context of the Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by Mab Segrest, details, through tracking federal indictments, to what extent North Carolina was involved in the far-right conspiracies that culminated in January 6th.
According to Segrest, “federal indictments since January 19, 2021 make it clear that the vanguard of the January 6, 2021 Capitol Insurrection were white supremacist and anti-government militias….” pointing specifically to North Carolina members of the Oath Keepers, and the Proud Boys.
Investigations have shown these groups to be comprised, in part, of former and current members of the military, former and current law enforcement officers, and civilians trained in military tactics.
And just where are they getting this military training?
A new article in the The Nation out this week titled Carolina: Training for the Next January 6 details how 88 of North Carolina’s 100 counties have at least one “tactical and cultural training center” where militia wannabes go to either learn or sharpen they para-military training.
According to the report, “Grassroots activists organizing across this state are concerned about a seemingly unmonitored flow of military-grade weapons, training and white warrior ideology out of North Carolina’s privatized military and into civilian lives.” One of the insurrectionists charged in the Jan. 6th siege was a former Marine who attended a North Carolina training camp last December. Another was a retired 13-year veteran K-9 officer and SWAT team member in North Carolina, according to federal indictments.
The FBI warned some time ago that domestic, not foreign, terrorist groups were America’s greatest threat, but Republicans in Congress shot down that report. And in recent months, Republicans have also engaged in rewriting history about the Jan. 6th U.S. Capitol siege, saying that it was not as bad as reported, or that the Select Committee was on a witch hunt.
Atty. Irving Joyner, law professor at North Carolina Central University School of Law says, “For African Americans, in particular, the [legal] owning and presence of guns in our possession have met with violent responses by law enforcement officers, many of whom are members of these right-wing para military groups. When confrontations occur with these officers and individuals, local prosecutors have not sought to protect the rights and lives of our community members.”
“It is certainly advisable for African Americans and other racial minorities to be sufficiently armed in the event that these militarized groups begin to direct their activities toward our communities, neighbors and family members. In addition, elected and appointed law enforcement officials must be pressed to investigate these groups and their activities in order to defend the community against the racialized hate that these groups have demonstrated.”
REP. ALMA ADAMS
REP. ADAMS CONCERNED
THAT JAN. 6TH ATTACKERS
WILL TRY AGAIN
By Cash Michaels
History already records that when former Pres. Donald Trump decided like the fact that he lost the Nov. 2020 presidential election, he called for a huge protest “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., which fatefully culminated in the Jan. 6th violent siege on the U.S. Capitol to stop the official certification of the election.
Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) believes that it could all happen again if far right activists don’t like the results of the upcoming 2022 midterm or 2024 presidential elections.
“Yes,” confirmed the four-term Democrat from Mecklenburg County. “That is why we must take the investigations and subsequent prosecutions seriously.”
“If the message gets out that you can break the windows of the Capitol, or incite an attack on our democracy, and only get a slap on the wrist, what does that do to deter future attacks on elections and our democratic process?”
Like her colleagues in Congress, and constituents back home, Rep. Adams is keeping sharp eyes and ears out for the latest information from the House Select Committee investigating the events surrounding Jan. 6th. Adams was in the midst of the siege when it occurred, and even to this day, is “frightened’ by what could have happened if the rioters had kidnapped or harmed members of Congress.
That was ten months ago, and in that time, over 600 of the Jan. 6th rioters have been arrested and indicted, giving congressional investigators possible leads as to who was involved in the planning, according to a recent explosive article in Rolling Stone Magazine.
The names of representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Madison Cawthorne (R-NC), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO), along with that of Trump White House Chief of Staff and former North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows were reported to have been allegedly involved.
As a result, it seems very likely that several Republican members of Congress were involved. Indeed, Rep. Adams says that “…the attackers had help from a small number of far-right members of Congress…,” and “While we have heard stories about a small number of fringe Republican lawmakers collaborating with the attackers, any evidence of advance planning on the part of those lawmakers must be treated seriously, and if it turns out that what they did rises to the level of criminal conspiracy, any lawmaker who helped plan the attack on the Capitol, or who provided material assistance to the attackers, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Rep. Adams makes clear that that includes former Pres. Donald Trump, and that prosecutors “…should follow where the case leads.”
“Prosecuting the perpetrators of the January 6 attack on the Capitol isn’t easy, but our country can’t send the message that there’s one criminal justice system for Donald Trump and his supporters, and another, harsher criminal justice system for everyone else,” Adams says when asked if such prosecutions would further tear the nation apart. “There have been two parallel and unequal criminal justice systems in our country for far too long, and that’s not a legacy that I want to be responsible for continuing.”
Still, there are Republicans in Congress who are working diligently to undermine any serious investigation into the events of Jan. 6th, event to the extent of calling the violent attackers just “tourists.”
“I was there,’ Adams insists, “… and so were my Republican friends. We all know what happened that day, we all witnessed that attack on America, and history will not be kind to those who saw one thing but say another.”
STATE NEWS BRIEFS FOR OCT. 28TH
COMMUNITY MOURNS DEATH OF HOKE COUNTY SHERIFF
[HOKE COUNTY] The community of Hoke County is still in shock over the death of one of the state’s veteran black sheriffs, Hubert Peterkin. Peterkin, 59, had cancer, and died from complications after surgery last week. Sheriff Peterkin served for 19 years. Outside of Hoke County, he is best known for eulogizing George Floyd during a memorial service in 2020.
CDC SAYS IMMUNOCOMPROMISED MAY NEED FOURTH COVID-19 VACCINE
[WASH. D.C.] If you are moderately to severely immunocompromised, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending a fourth COVID-19 shot, according to new guidelines. Of course, speak with your primary physician to see if you fit this category, but a study from Johns Hopkins University this summer showed the immunocompromised people were much more likely to either end up in the hospital, or die from breakthrough infections without a fourth shot . Again, speak with your doctor if you’re considered immunocompromised.
OUTGOING REP. PRICE BLASTS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR NOT DOING MORE AFTER THE FATAL HAMLET CHICKEN PLANT FIRE.
[WASH., D.C.]Democratic Fourth District Congressman David Price - who has announced that he is stepping down from office after this term - is blasting the federal government for not doing enough to ensure workplace safety after the fatal Sept. 3rd, 1991 Imperial Foods chicken processing plant fire in Hamlet, NC. that killed 25 people, and injured 54.
The deaths and injuries occurred, according to subsequent investigations, because the plant owners believed the workers were stealing chickens, so they had the exit doors locked. It was revealed that state safety inspectors had never visited the plant, but Price says the USDA never really followed up, even 30 years after the tragedy. He says he wants to see that happen.