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Police Deliver Devastating News Via Facebook

20 Feb

From the “What In The Ham Sandwich” Files…

Occasionally you can find me thoroughly entertained by a host of my blogging, social media and even journalism friends (all of whom, hold these posts as real and paying professions) who will from time to time, strongly debate with one another over the merits and pitfalls of utilizing social media as a source for uncovering, reporting and relaying significant news.  And of course, these conversations usually end with dismissive attitudes, elitist posturing and we all inevitably agreeing to disagree.

I do believe however that we were all pretty much on the same page after I emailed this recent story around and we kissed our collective teeth in disgust as the article revealed that a Georgia woman learned of her son’s death through a Facebook message from the local police department.

After searching for almost a month for her son Rickie, Anna Lamb-Creasey received confirmation via Facebook from the Clayton County Police Department that her son had been struck by a vehicle and killed on January 24, 2013.  In an array of news broadcast interviews, Lamb-Creasey told reporters that she did not know that messages from Facebook users who were not on her “friends list” could show up in an “other” labeled inbox.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable Facebook user, and I think even I would have found that type of cloak-and-dagger communique enough to either hit delete or report it as spam.  To think that it could have been a message about the status of my child is outrageous and simply maddening!  What’s worse is that Lamb-Creasey said that she was even more confused about the message, because the Misty Hancock Facebook profile picture was actually a photo of  Atlanta rapper, T.I. and his daughter at a birthday party (WHAT?!?!?! *Lil’ Jon voice*).

After twenty days had passed, Lamb-Creasey’s daughter found the unopened Facebook message received by her mother and opened it. The brief correspondence was from a person named Misty Hancock with a message requesting that Lamb-Creasey contact Lt. Schindler.  She called the number referenced in her mother’s Facebook message, and it was only then that was she told of Rickie’s death.

Understandable, Lamb-Creasey and her family are upset at how they found out about her son’s death, and why no constructive effort was made to reach her sooner, and personally.  A spokesman for the Clayton County Police Department said of the Misty Hancock Facebook account that it had formerly been used in an undercover capacity and was not intended to be revealed to the public.  Because of that apparent breach, the department now plans to investigate exactly why it was used to contact Lamb-Creasey.  The spokesperson also asserted that several attempts by officers were made to reach Lamb-Creasey, but they simply could not contact her.

Wait…what?  You mean, between all the Task Forces, Undercover Agents, Detectives, Beat Cops, Meter Maids and DMV records at their disposal, the Clayton County PD couldn’t find this woman to let her know that her child had been killed!?  I will say that I have a certain reverence for police officers and those who put themselves in harm’s way to preserve the safety of me and mine, but that is not this.  That can’t be this!  I will also say that I know that budget cuts and constraints all over the country have led to departmental cutbacks and creativity in how some officers are able to perform their jobs, so I won’t even lob a “desk jockey on point-and-click patrol while eating donuts” insult at the CCPD.

What is worth saying however is that Anna Lamb-Creasey and her family deserved better than a fake-me-out Facebook message that thank God her daughter bothered to read (again, thinking it was a solicitation, I can’t say that I would have even entertained it)!  I cannot even begin to imagine the stress of living with uncertainty for almost a month, only for it to be compounded by discovering that that uncertainty was now a reality…delivered through the host site of Farmville.

#DoBetter

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More Than a Slap On The Wrist

18 Feb

Listen…

When I first heard this story last Friday and since having read up on the most recent developments, Digital Underground has been playing in my head.  Loudly.  On repeat!

Now, I do get it about being flustered at having to share space on a long flight, with a crying child within the confines of a constricting passenger aircraft.  I mean, I’m not proud of it, but I’ve prayed for God to mute a baby a time or too myself, but to go so far as to become so unhinged that spewing a racist tirade and striking a child was the best resulting idea for resolving the matter?  Utterly unacceptable.

To me however, the problem wasn’t so much with Joe Rickey Hundley having these views; as disgusting as they are.  The problem was him feeling justified in articulating his views in an incredibly public and violent matter, and against a defenseless minor no less.  Sure, he and his defense attorney have been siting his distraught sensibilities that day due to him traveling to visit an ailing relative, and his alcohol intake (used to quell those sensibilities) which adversely effected his otherwise “glowing persona”, but the truth remains, in this “post-racial” (loose air quotes used here) American in which we live, he called a 19-month old baby a n*gger and tried to slap the child into submission.  Again, utterly unacceptable.

The story however, does have a silver lining.  Whether yielding to the court of public opinion, or displaying zero-tolerance for offensive and donkey behavior or simply in an effort to distance themselves from a drunkard and troubled individual, Hundley’s bosses effectively pumped the brakes on his employment this past Sunday.  In a released statement, President and CEO of AGC Aerospace and Defense Al Hasse characterized Joe Rickey Hundley’s behavior as disturbing, contradictory to the company’s values and revealed that the unit executive was no longer an employee of the company:

“We have taken this matter very seriously and worked diligently to examine it since learning of the matter on Friday afternoon.  As of Sunday, the executive is no longer employed with the company.  [His behavior is] embarrassing and does not in any way reflect the patriotic character of the men and women of diverse backgrounds who work tirelessly in our business.”

Presently, Hundley has been charged with simple assault, which if convicted, could lead to a maximum term of one year in prison, so he certainly isn’t “off the hook.”  It truly speaks volumes however; that since he likes slapping so much, that he wasn’t just slapped criminally, but also in his wallet!

You’re Welcome.

Sign of the Apocalypse: Drake and Breezy Fight over Rihanna (GASP)

14 Jun

Did I say Apocalypse?  Obviously I mis-typed.  What the title of this post should have read was: Signs That I’ll Be Taking an Apocalyptic Style Nap Due to The Yawn-Worthy Gossip That Drake and Breezy engaged in fisticuffs.

Apparently said melee transpired after Drake allegedly minced no words (via a note…yep, real gangsta) about his status with Brown’s ex, Rihanna.  Now, I have no plans to sully this blog any further with a bunch of hearsay and blather so feel free to get the supposed details about this boy brawl here, here and here.

I will however close by asking if I’m the only one who saw this coming???  As far as striving for inspiration as an entertainer, I say mix creative juices with whomever you want, but c’mon.  Drake’s cameos in RiRi’s videos, their innuendo induced performances and then her recent Birthday Cake collabo with Chris all made for a very intricately volatile situation…A situation where it seems that people have caught feelings and/or never lost feelings; so much so that now folks are nicknaming Drake the Evelyn Lozada of Hip-Pop and Pretty Boy Brown is having glass cleaned out of an open wound.

I know, I know.  This is a tragic and upsetting time for all the #TeamDrake and #TeamBreezy shrieking tweens out there, but understand that this is not BREAKING NEWS as Russ Parr or TMZ have lead you to believe.  Somebody wake me up when news breaks  that one of these overexposed celebrities donates half their fortune to something newsworthy like the Clean Water Project or the End Auto-Tune Initiative.  Until then, *yawn*.

America’s War on Terror: The PISS de Résistance?

14 Jan

Graphic: Scroll to the end of this post  for video of Marines caught urinating over Afghan bodies. 

Upon first hearing of this defilement and having since had several intense conversations with friends, family and social media followers alike, I could not help but to be sickened by the alleged actions of members of our otherwise highly regarded armed forces, and even some of the commentary which has teetered almost on excusing said behavior.

For those not familiar with the story, an anonymous source posted a video to the internet which depicts four members of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, in combat gear standing over three Afghan corpses with their genitals exposed as they relieve themselves.

While the men aren’t readily identifiable in the shocking viral spectacle, they can be heard joking and making statements like ‘Have a great day, buddy’, ‘Golden like a shower’ and ‘Yeahhhh!’ as they moan in apparent relief and release.

From the White House to local barbershops, within hours of the video’s release, most anyone with a heart, conscience, a moral compass or a at least a modicum or respect for humanity had been vocal in speaking out against this disgusting display.  Not surprisingly though, there have been those who were equally as vocal in (almost) defending the alleged actions of these soldiers.

Though speaking from a place of experience and understanding, Ex-Army Lieutenant Colonel and current Florida Rep. Allen West insisted that the Marines were wrong but angrily defended:

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth.  War is hell.”

 The “everyone else” that Mr. West referred to included (but was clearly not limited to) political pundits who he deemed over-emotional, self-righteous and armchair quarterbacks over their opinions on the future of the men and the disgrace that they’ve brought the armed forces.

One media pundit not fitting into Mr. West’s mold however is CNN correspondent and conservative radio host Dana Loesch.  Sharing her views on a St. Louis radio station this week, Loesch made her opinion clear:

 “’C’mon people, this is a war.  Do I have a problem with that as a citizen of the United States? No, I don’t.”

She also said that she would give a million cool points to these guys and would be willing to join them.

Classy lady.

Realistically though, I do get it.  Though never personally having had the remarkable courage or desire to serve my country in the armed forces, I have had family to serve in Vietnam and even members who’ve done multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The horrendous stories I have been told of survival and daily life in those war-torn regions are cringe-worthy tales that I still cannot even wrap my mind around, so yes, I am sympathetic.  Living through an ordeal like that; I am sure continues to be a nightmare within itself.

In that regard, Mr. West is absolutely correct.  It is easy for civilians to pass judgment and make baseless comments about behaviors enacted in war when they have never stared death in the face or had to decide between their lives or that of the insurgent trying to blow their heads off.  Still, like I tweeted earlier this week, I honestly do understand the whole “psychology” of a solider and cringe at all they are liable to see and required to do, but the standard of The United States and that of our Marine Corp. is just too high for that behavior.  In this country, we cannot insist that we be recognized as beacons of the free world, yet relegate ourselves to urinating on people…dead people, for kicks.

SPAM Texting Me? Really Though!?

28 Nov

Though born in the Polynesian sub-region of “Oceania”, I’ve never been a fan of the Hawaiian delicacy (or continental scourge) known as Spam ®, so over the years, receiving communications from totally random businesses or individuals bearing the same disgusting name has really never sat too well with me either.  Now, for many of us, we understand that as consumers of various products and services, our buying habits and other tidbits of our personal information are being sold and distributed to the highest bidder every day for marketing purposes.  And clearly, while none of us particularly likes the idea of mega corporations like AT&T and Time Warner Cable sharing our telecommunication habits with third-party marketers, in the back of our minds, we do sort of accept these practices as the unspoken cost of doing business.

For me however, where I draw the line is when the results of these info swaps manifest in text and SMS messages to my cellphone.  My cell is for my kids to reach me when they need to, for me to screen, forward and accept calls when I am out and about and for me to molly-wop the honey in Words with Friends.  It is not a portal for hacks and frauds to practice their company’s texting business hustle on.

What’s worse is that those who know me know that I don’t give out my cellphone number all willy-nilly, even to people that I know, so the notion of some counterfeit telemarketer having my number and using it to send me unsolicited messages really chaps my behind!  And while I’ve been blessed for the most part to only just have begun receiving these messages within the last two months, they are still incredibly annoying, especially since downloading SPAM-blocking software from the various cellular app stores out there restricts only so many of these nuisance communications.

So you have to know that it didn’t take me long to begin researching my options, when after two weeks and multiple SPAM texts from some random company with an area code not even in the region of the country where I live began filling my SMS queue with their foolishness.  At first, a simple “delete” seemed to be all that would be required to get rid of them.  Then after a second text, I responded with a STOP message and added the text number to my SPAM Blocker list.  Then, after a third text during a meeting at work, I had had enough:

Now while my complaint would have likely fallen on deaf ears in my State’s Attorneys General office (seeing as how the offender is from Florida), and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) would have likely been the proper regulatory branch to contact, it does seem that my point was made, as since my angry reply, I’ve not received any further buffoonery from them.  But hey, let me not get ahead of myself.  With five weeks still left in the year, I just might have to keep a threat to call “Pookie n’ dem” in my back pocket should the folks at choicerestore.com not take the hint.

iCan’t Today.

21 Nov

Well folks, like a simp I’ve once again taken work home over the weekend and am also working through my day off.

*Sigh*

Somebody agree in prayer with me that a long lost, obscenely wealthy great aunt or uncle shows up in my life and decides they want to adopt me!

Jesus be a benefactor!

You Sir, Are No Slick Rick

10 Nov

If nothing else, this year’s Republican Presidential Debates have been chock-full of the best political entertainment that I have been fortunate enough to come across since The West Wing went off the airWith the various candidates’ religions under scrutiny, the alleged activity of their loins in question or their truths and facts in need of constant checking, the debates have shown more like a series of political soap operas than a weeding out process for the next GOP contender for the office of president.

But for all the drama that the debates have revealed, the unintentional comedy has both highlighted and exposed some of the candidates for the ill-equipped representatives that they are.  Take for instance Wednesday night’s rumble in Michigan at Oakland University.  It was there at the CNBC/Michigan Republican Party sponsored debate that Texas Governor Rick Perry revealed yet another similarity he shared with “Dub-yah” when he became tongue tied and forgetful while reciting the three agencies of big government that he would eliminate were he to become the 45th President.  Easily recalling Education and Commerce for the masses, Perry struggled to remember that he wanted to disband the Department of Energy as well.

While clearly a “human” moment for the governor, his gaffe was so glaring that one would have to wonder how serious Perry could actually be about running for President and developing (and remembering) a variety of unique thoughts and ideas to make better the nation he seeks to serve.  I mean, even Sarah Palin was serious enough about getting into the White House as the VP in 2008 that she made sure her talking points were prepared and clearly written out (on her hand).

I will say though, for all the talk about Perry’s damaging performance on Wednesday, I totally respect the dude for admitting that he simply couldn’t remember (his exact words, “…I can’t” were priceless).  Oh, and the “kill me now” Oops was a classic as well!  I guarantee it’ll go down in history alongside Nixon’s indignant little farewell declaration about us not having him to kick around anymore.

Clearly, pissed off and flustered Republicans produce the best sound-bites!

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