Thursday, August 17, 2017

Charlottesville Madness or Act of Domestic Terrorism?

As repugnant as I find white supremacists it is clear their right of free speech was violated in Charlottesville.

Confrontation, call it counter protests if you like, by #BLM and #Antifa was allowed unchecked by woefully unprepared members of Law Enforcement as things spiraled rapidly towards tragedy.

Tearing away banners, using mace, urine bombs, spitting, throwing feces and using canes against the Alt-Right crowd is violence. It is unjustified no matter how strongly you disagree with the opposing party, and that's a first amendment violation. 

Black Lives Matter Antifa protestor attacks a Alt Right protestor with a metal pipe.

The end result 13 staples and a really bad haircut.

And this is the guy cops and the white supremistis are looking for. He'd be wise to turn himself in before the Nazis find him.

Antifa protestors blocking Fields car before he is attacked. Notice the brake lights. If he was intent of attack why does he wait until another car is in front of him?

The act of violence leading to the death of Heather Heyer was not an act of terrorism, rather an imprudent impulsive reaction of random anger and rage by a white supremacist towards a crowd of Black Lives Matter, and Antifa protestors.  

It remains to be determined if there are any mitigating factors, including if James Alex Fields felt threatened or was in mortal fear.

The fact that he rammed the car in front of his and not the crowd directly may prove pivotal in his defense.

Terrorism requires the key ingredient of premeditation, obviously the other factors such as random targets, mass casualties and destructive force are all met, but without premeditation this act of violence doesn't meet the definition of terrorism. 

Is it even a hate crime? Just because James Alex Fields is a devote of racism and is clearly the cause of Heather Heyer's death doesn't make it a hate crime. There has to be an explicit link between the two for it to be a civil rights violation. 

Finally did this personalized "Jesus" plate set Fields off? 

Was GODKPME (God Keep Me) just too much for the hate filled angry young man to handle? If so it likely was not an act of terrorism.

In the end it all comes down to motivation. 

Cedar on Trump: Ugh! I wish he'd stop tweeting and shut up! Americans apparently don't want a speak from the heart president, they don't want honest thought or impulsive Q and A sessions with the liberal media. Americans want robo president, scripted and edited with perfect Midwestern enunciation. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Charlottesville Durham What's Next? Charlotte?

Just wow, beyond the media spin here's some crazy stuff going on in Charlotte with shades of Charlottesville and Durham.

First up an Ad in creative loafing, a similer post has been appearing on Craig's list. 

Over at Lowes and Home Depot a fresh supply of Tiki Torches. Just an odd coincidence?

In Durham Antifa supporters pulled down a statue in memory of lost boys of the civil war.

They did so after Durhams new female police chief ordered Durham PD officers to stand down, noting the the protesters where on Durham County property and that was not their responsibility.

Durham County Sheriff later used videos to arrest 20 plus rioters charging them with felony and misdemeanor crimes. 

In Charlottesville the largest gathering of white supremacists in 30 years showed up. Two years ago a KKK skin head neo nazi March or rally might have garnered 6 nut birds but removal of confederate statues has been a call to arms for the atl-right. Nearly 250 tiki torch toting marchers peacefully rallied around a statue of Robert E. Lee 

But the next day things turned ugly when BLM and Antifia supporters physically confronted the large group of Alt-Right protestors. 

Cedar's Take: If you don't agree with the liberal media driven left you must be a racist. If you don't think we should remove all the confederate statues erected 100 years ago you must be a racist. If you support Donald Trump you must be a racist.

If you don't agrees with all the wacky nut bird left ideology you must be a racist. 

Label me a racist then, because I think that the BLM Antifa groups are hate groups as much as and in many cases more so than the KKK and other skin head white nationalists.  

What I saw of Charlottesville was a peaceful tiki torch protest about the removal of a bronze statute and renaming of a small urban park by a group of whoever. Which was followed by a day of confrontations between two group that should have resulted in 100s of arrests. The White Supremacist and the BLM Antifa crowds should have been arrested. The result of inaction of the part of the Charlottesville police department, governor of Virginia and the mayor of Charlottesville and the random action of one young man culminated in the death of Heather Hyer. 

A chain of events that spiraled out of control. 

In Durham the inaction of a black police chief resulted in the destruction of a statue erected to acknowledge the lives of so many young men lost during the civil war. This was not a statue that represented slavery or white supremacy simply a gravestone honoring the dead, erected 125 years ago as a way of healing and moving the nation forward. 

A community that came together and funded this small monument and statue to honor not the cause or slavery just those young men who lost thier lives in the Great War 150 years ago. The actions of those who destroyed this memorial are as repulsive as vandles kicking over headstones in a cementary, 

North Carolina Govenor Roy Cooper is now suggesting that all confederate memorials and statutes be removed across the state. His actions like all politicians as simply talk to build his standing with the political left and the media, never mind that without North Carolina's republican controlled statehouse it will never happen.

But it is troubling because it just adds fuel to the fire, and emboldens the Antifa thugs who have no purpose but to cause havoc and destroy property.  Cooper is that idiot kid you knew in elementary school who couldn't resist poking a stick into a yellow jacket nest at the far end of the baseball field only to get stung so many times he needed to visit the emergency room. 

Crazy people and politicians the statues don't bother anyone, you'd be wise to leave them alone because they are not your personal punching bag. If you think they respresent slavey and bigotry as well as racisim that's fine, but just because you think it doesn't mean you are right. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sergio Garcia at TPC Piper Glen Post PGA Championship

Much commotion in the Cedar back yard today.

Monday's are normally pretty quiet with the club closed and the course seeing limited play via only walking singles and corporate events. So it was surprising to find the Masters Tournament Champion Sergio Garcia, photographers and a video crew standing the middle on the No. 2 Green on TPC at Piper Glen Course in Charlotte.

My guess the they were shooting ad work for Adidas which inked a multi year sponsorship deal with the Spaniard prior to his Masters win. (You'll notice the entire crew are wearing Adidas shoes, including the buzz hair cut guy looking my way with vintage white Stan Smith's.)

Spoiler alert - A couple of times during the hours long operation the professional golfer was photographed wearing shorts!

The golfer is currently number 4 in the world professional golf ranking, lead by Dustin Johnson was reportedly also on hand.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Muslims Just Different From The Rest Of Us Courts Apparently Agree

A Chicago woman accused of throwing her infant daughter to her death from an eighth-floor window has been sentenced to probation.

Baby Killer Mubashra Uddin
The Chicago Tribune reports that 20-year-old Mubashra Uddin on Thursday pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and a Cook County judge sentenced her to four years of probation.

She originally was charged with first-degree murder in the November 2015 death. Prosecutors said Uddin hid her pregnancy and killed the baby because she feared her Muslim parents from Pakistan wouldn't approve.

Prosecutors said Uddin gave birth and dropped the baby girl out of a bedroom window when she heard her mother approaching. A man found the newborn in the grass. The baby died the next day at a hospital.

Uddin was given credit for serving 603 days in jail.

The Judge took her upbringing and family background into consideration. Agreeing with defense attorneys that the murder of her child was as desperate act of self defense.

Cedar's Take: Just let that marinate a while and then let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Americans Are Coming

In the politically correct world of liberals identifying as an American can earn you a lot of grief. 

My cousin a liberal nutbird who moved to California from West Virginia decades ago is happy to remind you that calling yourself an American is incorrect since Canadians and Chileans are also Americans. 

My cousin, let's call him Bob because that's his name, is an expert on everything. As far as he knows, that is. Let's face it Bob is a jerk, every family has one but Bob is an exceptional jerk who hasn't held a job in 30 years. Bob knows that it is wrong that citizens of the United States of America like to call themselves Americans.

Well Bob, I got news for you I'm an American, and there is nothing wrong with Idenitrifying as one. As proof I can offer a long list of examples none of which will convince you that you are wrong because you're never wrong. 

But, I can guarantee you when the last ISIS terrorist looks to the sky and sees a missile headed right for the last ten square feet of earth terrorists control, he'll be cursing that the Americans are coming. 

Happy 4th of July Bob, hope you're as proud to be an American as I am. 

City of Charlotte and Charlotte Fire Doubles Down After Crystal Eschert Victory

Having lost in dramatic fashion during their Federal Court appearance Charlotte City Attorneis continued their game of Russian Roulett by doubling down on the million dollar verdict awarded to fired CFD whistle blower Crystal Eschert.

Going into the holiday weekend lawyers filed a motion requesting the court set aside the jury verdict or in the alternative hold a new trial. 

The filing can be read here: 

Cedar's Take: This is nuttier than a fruitcake in July. The motion basically says the jury and the judge Frank Whilttney are idiots. Whilttney it should be pointed out is seldom overturned, and is one of the most respected jurists in the country. 

Business common sense hasn't been a strong point with Charlotte City Mangers or Charlotte City Council's "potted plants" who with the exception of Claire Fallon have remained mute of the Eschert case. Charlotte GuvCo would be wise to embrace the time proven adage "if you can write the check write the check". 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Zachary Finch Charlotte's 43rd Homicide Victim

The mantra of CMPD is always the same "Not an act of random violence". And the case of Zachary Finch received the same treatment in the hours that followed.

Except that in this case CMPD admitted, that it could have happened to anyone. This case remains open and leads are apparently scarce. Surprising since it happened at 1:30 in the afternoon. Then again in the hood nobody ever sees nothin.

More details from the local paper:

The brother of a man killed in Charlotte this week faced cameras Tuesday, nearly breaking down as he begged the public for any information on his brother’s death, which is still unsolved.

Zachary Finch, 21, died Sunday. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police refused to directly connect his death to a sale made through Craigslist or a similar site, but other news outlets have reported that he was meeting someone to complete an online sale.

CMPD Sgt. Susan Manassah said Finch was engaged in a legal activity, but she wouldn’t provide more details.

In her advice about how to stay safe, Manassah focused on in-person meetings that follow a digital connection through a buying and selling service such as Craigslist or a dating app.

She said to meet in a public place where both parties feel comfortable, and to cancel the meeting if the other person isn’t willing to meet somewhere safe. Like other police departments, CMPD welcomes using the parking lots of police stations for the meetings.

“Tell people where you’re going, what it is you’re doing,” Manassah said. “If it’s too good to be true, then it’s not real.”

Finch’s older brother Nicholas called him loving and bubbly – a team player devoted to his baseball team at Kentucky’s University of the Cumberlands, where he pitched on a full scholarship.

“He always motivated everyone around him,” his brother said.

Finch was studying public health, with one year left to go before graduation.

Finch’s parents moved to the Charlotte area from south Florida a couple of years ago, and their three children attended college in different states. The family was planning to get together for the first time in months for the Fourth of July.

Nicholas Finch refused to comment on why his brother had come to the west Charlotte apartment complex where he was shot on Sunday.

Manassah called Charlotte’s rising homicide rate “senseless,” and said what happened to Finch could have happened to anyone.

She said police are especially eager to gather information from any possible witnesses because Finch was shot at about 1:30 on a Sunday afternoon.

“There’s windows, there’s parks, there’s kids playing. People were outside,” she said.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Meck County Liberals Open Pandora's Box With Ramadan Proclamation

Islam, the culture and religion that embraces extreme violence against non-believers took center stage during Tuesday's Mecklenburg County Commission meeting, when Mecklenburg Commissioner Trevor Fuller proposed the proclamation to recognize the month of Ramadan from May 26 to June 24.

Photo Via: Twitter

“If we're going to make a difference and make the world better for all of us, then we've got to come together,” Fuller said, according to WSOC News Reporter Joe Burno.

Vilma Leake never at a loss for words began one of her long rambling soliloquies "If I say I am a Christian, I have to love everybody regardless of the agenda, their religious beliefs or where they have come from......" and so on.

Via Twitter Mujtaba Mohammed‏ (@mjamohammed)  offered "Ramadan has always been part of America & Muslims have always contributed to America's success."

Replying to Mujtaba CP offered "Perhapes @mjamohammed would like us to recognize thousands of jobs created by Islam?100s of thousands of TSA agents are grateful!"

To which Mujtaba offered a long list of Muslim accomplishments and achievements from medicine to Muhammad Ali, and admitting "everyone has their rotten apples though."

Log on to Twitter and read @mjamohammed long list of Muslim heroes and accomplishments here.

#meckbocc The proposal passed 6 to 3 with all Democrats voting yes and all Republicans voted no.

Meck Commissioner Bill James went on to tweet "I think Democrats will come to regret the opening of this spigot that blurs the lines of church and state. Could be wrong, but we will see."

CP's Take: Can you imagine the backlash over a request to recognize Lent, Advent or The 12 Days of Christmas?

Beyond the church vs state question, there is the timing. Fuller's agenda item popped up not prior to the start of Ramadan several weeks ago, when debate could provide a fair and proper discussion but in the middle of the 30 day religious period.

Several commissioners said they didn't know the proposal was on the agenda.

The proposal was also presented just 48 hours after another horrific attack by several of the religion's "rotten apples".

Recognizing and providing a formal proclamation by government supporting any religion much less a religion whose followers are urged to murder non believers, a religion that by permitting it to exist has cost our nation billions to defend against, is just nutty.

Will the ACLU step in to object? Doubtful.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Cedar's Take On Racism

The national news media, always quick to highlight racism has jumped all over the latest "noose" discovery, while African American leaders repeat the same tired slogans over and over once again.

Let's talk about racism, its a pretty broad concept, covering a lot of ground. But mostly at least in the USA it mean African Americans that feel they are being slighted because of the color of their skin.

And the racism alarm is getting a real workout lately, a noose in Washington, on LeBron James' front gate at his LA home someone sprayed "Nigger" and in Portland some nut case attacked three people and killed two them while verbally attack two young black girls.

The press claims we should be concerned, the politicos claim we should be alarmed, the usual crowd is shouting no justice no peace. But this is isolated racism, big graphic and news worthy.

The racism that we should be concerned about is not the in your face noose on a bathroom stall, hung from a college dorm winder, or casually laid about in a museum. It is not spray painted on your front door that should concern us or even the violence obtained by mentally challenged individuals who are simply intent on violence.

Rather it is that trickle of distrust, that slow seeping of hatred that is passed from generation to generation, a confirmation of bias, and the affirmation of stereotypes that needs our attention.

The removal of confederate monuments, the rage over the confederate battle flag, the black lives matter movement simply stoked the embers of hate, distrust and furthered the stereotypes, thus doing nothing to resolve the issue of race.

Spray painting RACIST on a statue is neither informative or restorative. Claiming offense from a inanimate object that in its purest sense is nothing more than a lump of iron is madness. Claiming it makes you fearful, is far more racist than locking your car doors, when a group of young black men approach.

A nation that was joined by its commonality in the post 9/11 era because Islam and Muslim Extremists attacked us all, became dangerously divided by a president who squandered 8 yrs of optimism, by saying "if I had a son he'd look like Trayvon" and singing amazing grace in the style reminiscent of the old Negros of Charleston's historic slavery days long since past.

Tearing down flags, and statues and proclaiming honored dead of more than a century ago as traitors and criminals deepens the divide. You can not fight hate with more hate, racism with more racism, for what breaks down racism are small gestures of kindness, yet those things are never newsworthy, and seldom noted by the media.

In Marietta Georgia there is a national cemetery, gleaming white markers in neat rows honoring Union dead who perished in the battle of Kennesaw Mountain.  A few blocks to the south the Confederate cemetery where those who died in that same battle rest in a poorly maintained park that is funded by only city tax dollars and private contributions. The markers 1/3 the size most are unreadable many are broken and grass is seldom mowed. Yet the NAACP does not scream Racism because one group is treated differently, except when someone places a tiny Confederate Battle Flag on a grave.

Imagine if the NAACP offered to clean up the Confederate cemetery.

Yet, you can not legislate kindness, you can not enforce charity, anymore than we can not undo eight years of divisive rhetoric from a former president. Someone has to take the first step.

So many people black and white fail to understand that reconstruction and reconciliation took place because memorials where permitted and in fact encouraged. One hundred years ago congress took bold steps to repair a broken nation and a house divided. In the following years veterans on both sides gathered on memorial days and a nation began to heal.

We can start by understanding this:

Racism is everywhere the only way to defeat it is by rising above it, because those who do are champions.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

LaWana Mayfield Has A Nutty Over White Privilege

Charlotte City Council Member LaWanna Mayfield, that "Nut-Bird" who often rivals County Commissioner Vilma Leak with her off topic or nonsensical comments took to Facebook in a rant about "White Privilege"

Mayfield - Just getting home from my final neighborhood meeting.


Especially when the home is one of many owned by persons who live in Ballantyne. I am going to start calling out these owners at Council meetings because I am also tired of hearing one of my collegues talk about what Ballantyne is not getting in City resources when it is residents in His District that keeps CMPD and Code Enforcement in mine....just needed to get this off my mind.

Now time to get back to work...

Mayfield is apparently upset with Ed Diggs who often points out the amount of property tax revenue paid, far exceeds the value received by district 7 taxpayers.

Mayfield is one of the countless loonies who are convinced that police cause crime and that white folks send the police to her district to oppress black people.

It's apparently easy for Mayfield to believe that all the rental property is owned by white people, afterall that's the way it is right?

Mayfield's followers of Facebook and District 3 constituents think this of Ballantyne - "I worked in that area. They receive all types of privilege. I would see falling down drunks get away with murder all because they had money."

And this -  "I still work there and they are still getting away with it. They leave those bars staggering, get in their cars and drive every night. Where is CMPD? Northeast ,Northwest and Southwest."

Mayfield Again:

LaWana Mayfield It is hilarious comments complaining about the TRUTH but completely ignoring the problem of Poverty...If the crime and criminals are not good enough for YOUR neighborhood it DAMN WELL is not good enough for mine. Also for those that Do Not Live in Charlotte YOU better hope you don't own Slum property in D-3 and I can track You down because I will be sharing how YOU are destroying OUR neighborhoods while living in your "All too Fragile Hill"

Mayfield believes that the slums in her district are owned by white privilege, white people who live somewhere else.

What escapes Mayfield is that rental property is subject to the basic principle of profit and loss. The once solid middle class west and east Charlotte has been in a flat spin for years thanks to a number of factors. Many caused by prior Charlotte City Council members, influx of illegals from Mexico and Central America and African Americans migrants from northern cities like Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburg and Newark.

When an East Charlotte resident points out the it seems there are few options to dealing with run down rental property or trouble makers:

This is one of the chief concerns of the neighborhoods in Harris Coalition on the east side. Either we've been lax in our knowledge of what can be done with unfortunate renters, or there are no ordinances that can help us. I imagine this is a concern all over Charlotte. What, specifically, can be done about run-down rental properties, or nuisance renters. Can we find out what ordinances apply?

The citizen clearly asks for help but Mayfield responds by placing blame on Republicans in Raleigh.

The General Assembly has caused a lot of this with legislation they have passed that has usurped Municipal control.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

In Case You Missed It: Liberty Planet's Take On ReWriting History

Over 100 years after it was constructed, the City of New Orleans removed a monument to the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. 
This move came almost two years after the local government made a decision to remove a total of four commemorative monuments located throughout the town. The first removal, of a monument commemorating the Battle of Liberty Place and the Louisiana residents who died there during the Reconstruction Era, was completed in April.
As these monuments begin to come down, questions are raised about the removal of art and artifacts from public settings and the potential rewriting of history. 
While monuments like the Jefferson Davis statue can spark controversy, eliminating them does not solve any underlying issues – it simply covers them up. What happens to these pieces of history that let us know what New Orleans was like in 1891, and in the post-Civil war era? What about the artist who created this piece and pieces like it? Are the struck from our collective consciousness as we pretend they never existed?

More Removals are Scheduled

The dismantling of the Jefferson Davis statue will be followed by the removal of similar pieces, including statues of Confederates P.G.T. Beauregard and Robert E. Lee. In a statement in May, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued the following statement:
“These monuments have stood not as historic or educational markers of our legacy of slavery and segregation, but in celebration of it…I believe we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it. To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in some of our most prominent public places is not only an inaccurate reflection of our past, it is an affront to our present, and a bad prescription for our future. We should not be afraid to confront and reconcile our past.”
The removal of this piece was met by opposition and protest from the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Monumental Task Committee, a local based non-profit.
Advocates on both sides of the argument were present, with some shouting “take it down” and others objecting.

Rewriting History

What happens when monuments and symbols of the past are removed or destroyed? Where do they go – and what marks a monument as something to be destroyed or hidden away, and no longer considered a piece of history.
“When will they storm Washington’s Monticello?” Laura Ingraham asked about this issue on Twitter. While plenty of users pointed out the error (Washington is Mount Vernon, Jefferson is Monticello), the question remains.
Another monument located in Maryland remains in limbo; a statue featuring an unnamed Confederate soldier has been encased in a plywood box since 2015. The statue was repeatedly vandalized and the subject of controversy. It’s removal required approval of the Rockville Historic District Commission because of the statue’s historic designation.
Commissioned in 1913 to honor Maryland men who served in the Confederacy during the Civil War by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the 13-ton monument spent two years peeking over the top of a 20-foot-tall plywood box. As of 2017, it is being relocated at the county’s expense to private property in along the nearby Potomac River.
All of this follows the 2016 controversy in Columbia, South Carolina, when local officials removed the Confederate flag from the statehouse. The flag was relocated a few blocks away to the state museum.
Like all other countries and civilizations, United States history is not without its bleak moments. Even the native tribes who inhabited North America before European colonization can recount trouble days of war, slavery, and unspeakable cruelty. But, learning the lessons of history requires us to keep images from these times at the forefront.
Germany is a perfect modern example. Instead of dismantling Auschwitz brick by brick, the Polish government chose to keep the remnants of the death camp open for all to see. Visitors from all over the world frequent the location, and leave with a stern reminder of the dangers of unchecked tyranny. So far, no one on the left has called the Polish racist. 
~ Liberty Planet
Cedar's Take: I doubt most people who drove past these statues and others around the country on a daily basis gave them much thought. The narrow minded few who say a statue of Robert E Lee as a symbol of racism, could find racism and bigotry in a Happy Meal.
Removing the statues of a bygone era is fine, but without them you lose context, like deleting the Chapter of Luke in the Bible, or banning Gone With The Wind because its offensive to African Americans.
So lets erase all symbols of slavery, maybe start with the pyramids in Egypt, after all there is no greater larger promenade of slave labor than the national symbol of Egypt. Better take it off the US Dollar as well. 
Inca and Aztec Indians? Level those historic sites as well, and while we are at it lets erase all those American Indian historic sites, they were the first real immigrant haters who often enslaved the conquered.
How about those historic markers, funded with taxpayer dollars, Orangeburg Massacre, or the recent plaque noting the troubled 30-40s and the oppression of the KKK?
If we are going to erase history because looking back it is unpleasant, maybe we should remove all reference to General Sherman, who by today's standard would be sentenced to death after being convicted of war crimes, as well as his superiors.
Removing a few statues will not rid the country of racism, removing all the statues will not erase history or end racism. The only way to deal with racism it to rise above it, for racism is everywhere,  those who rise above it are champions.    

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Claire Fallon Calls For Chief Chief Hannan To Be Fired Again

From The Local Paper Letters To The Editor:

I warned city not to fight Crystal Eschert

In response to “Jury awards fired city worker $1.5 million” (May 12) and related articles:

The writer is an at-large member of the Charlotte City Council.

When I saw the validity of Crystal Eschert’s complaints, I told City Attorney Bob Hagemann that she was a whistleblower. The “old boy network” went into full mode protecting its own. In subsequent discussions, the city attorney told me the city had a solid case and would prevail. This entire journey has been a travesty with poor judgment by the city attorney and the City Council. The council turned its face away from a powerless person in cowardice. I demand that Fire Department Chief Jon Hannan be terminated. He is a embarrassment to the fire department and this city.

Cedar's Take: I have a lot of respect for Claire Fallon she's a rare gem in a room of potted plants that make up Charlotte City Council.

You don't have to look far to judge her character she's forthright and honest, Jon Hannan is the direct opposite and you need to look far to she his character either. Like the on camera ambush a few years ago where a female reporter presented him with a long list of expenses and over time wages authorized personally by him to care for the unofficial antique fire apparatus collection. Hannan doesn't respect women that much is clear. Apparently he doesn't have a lot of respect for the guys on the truck either judging by his lack of commitment to higher wages and benefits. Of course he did find funding for that glass stairway on fire at CFD Headquarters. And that street goes both ways. 

Let's face it, Charlotte City Counicl's ongoing dealings with the chief has about as much integrity as a Filipino dice game. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Crystal Eschert v City of Charlotte Trial Ends As Expected

In an embarrassing verdict for the city of Charlotte, a jury Thursday found the Fire Department retaliated against former fire investigator Crystal Eschert for raising questions about the safety of construction work at a new office building, awarding her 1.5 million in damages.

Case Against Charlotte Fire Goes To The Jury

From the "Local Paper"
After a weeklong trial, former fire investigator Crystal Eschert’s whistleblower lawsuit against the city of Charlotte went to a jury Wednesday evening.
Jurors must decide whether the Charlotte Fire Department overstepped when it fired Eschert in 2014 over a Facebook post the city said was offensive and inflammatory. The city has said that the firing was justified because it could have caused unrest in the community, and that Eschert wasn’t retaliated against for being a whistleblower.
On Aug. 20, 2014, about 10 days after the shooting of Michael Brown set off riots in Ferguson, Mo., Eschert wrote this post on her Facebook page, which was restricted to her Facebook friends:
“White guy shot by police yesterday near Ferguson ... Where is Obama? Where is Holder? Where is Al Sharpton? Where are Trayvon Martin’s parents? Where are all the white guys supporters? So is everyone MAKING it a racial issue? So tired it’s a racial thing. If you are a thug and worthless to society, it’s not race – You’re just a waste no matter what religion, race or sex you are.”
In its closing arguments Wednesday, Sara Lincoln, an attorney for the city, said Eschert’s job as an arson investigator means she should be held to a high standard. She said because fire investigators must sometimes testify in court, a Facebook post using words like “thug” could make it hard for her to do her job.
“What she wrote was a judgment on human life,” Lincoln said her closing statement.
Jurors began deliberating Wednesday night in former Charlotte fire investigator Crystal Eschert’s lawsuit against the city. She was fired for making what the city said was an offensive Faccebook post.

Eschert’s attorney, Meg Maloney, has said the Facebook post was an excuse for the firing. She said the Fire Department retaliated against Eschert because she complained about the quality of renovations at a new office for arson investigators. Eschert had arranged a tour of the building for City Council member Claire Fallon, and Maloney said that upset Fire Department management.
Maloney cited a number of other social media posts made by firefighters that had racially charged material.
One was a meme that made fun of the names that some black women give to their children. Another showed a photo of Daquan Westbrook, who was shot and killed inside a Northlake Mall store by police in December. The posting showed his corpse lying on the floor, and said he was a “Black Lives Matter Thug.”
None of those employees were terminated.
Maloney said that if Eschert should be held to high standards, so should firefighters.
“Firefighters come into people’s homes,” she said.
Lincoln said one reason that the posts were different is that Eschert made hers soon after the riots in Ferguson, at a time when Charlotte was worried about similar unrest. 
She also said that the person who emailed the posts to city officials and the media wasn’t complaining about the content and didn’t seem offended. That differed from the person who emailed the city about Eschert’s Facebook post. That person, Linda Havery, said the post could cause racial unrest.
“Ferguson wasn’t on fire,” Lincoln said about the other posts.
Maloney contends that Linda Havery is a made-up person, created by someone associated with the Fire Department to retaliate against Eschert. Lincoln said Maloney offered no proof that anyone associated with the city is Linda Havery. She also said the email was sent from a non-city computer.
Lincoln also said that Eschert’s claims there were safety problems at the renovated building on North Graham Street were wrong. She portrayed Eschert was a disgruntled employee who wanted a nicer office – not a legitimate whistleblower.
Jurors were scheduled to deliberate until 7 p.m. Wednesday and then meet again Thursday morning. Eschert is seeking at least $1.5 million in damages.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Crystal Eschert v. City of Charlotte In Case You Missed It

From the local paper:

In a matter of weeks, a Charlotte jury will decide whether Crystal Eschert is a wronged whistleblower or a Facebook troll. 

On Thursday, U.S. District Frank Whitney cleared the way for a jury to hear Eschert’s claims that she was unfairly fired from her investigator’s job with the Charlotte Fire Department for two Facebook posts and in retaliation for her whistleblower complaints about the condition of a department building. 

The case, which is scheduled for trial early next month, features a slew of conflicting issues, legal and otherwise:

In rejecting a City of Charlotte argument that Eschert’s lawsuit should be thrown out, Whitney says those and other questions should be answered by a jury. He ruled that Eschert’s complaint, which alleges First Amendment violations, wrongful discharge, sexual discrimination and other claims, can proceed. 

The legal fight dates back to the fire department’s efforts to control employee posts on social media. In 2013, the department adopted a policy that prohibits “simultaneously” identifying oneself as a department employee while displaying materials that could “potentially be perceived as offensive, including ... material that offends or harasses on the basis of race, sex, religion, color.”

In a matter of weeks, a Charlotte jury will decide whether Crystal Eschert is a wronged whistleblower or a Facebook troll. 

On Thursday, U.S. District Frank Whitney cleared the way for a jury to hear Eschert’s claims that she was unfairly fired from her investigator’s job with the Charlotte Fire Department for two Facebook posts and in retaliation for her whistleblower complaints about the condition of a department building. 

The case, which is scheduled for trial early next month, features a slew of conflicting issues, legal and otherwise:

▪ Eschert’s right of free speech vs. the demands a public job places on personal behavior;

▪  Whether Eschert violated a department social-media policy or was singled out for ignoring the chain of command; 

▪ Whether she rightfully lost her job for making racially insensitive comments or was a victim of political correctness. 

In rejecting a City of Charlotte argument that Eschert’s lawsuit should be thrown out, Whitney says those and other questions should be answered by a jury. He ruled that Eschert’s complaint, which alleges First Amendment violations, wrongful discharge, sexual discrimination and other claims, can proceed. 

The legal fight dates back to the fire department’s efforts to control employee posts on social media. In 2013, the department adopted a policy that prohibits “simultaneously” identifying oneself as a department employee while displaying materials that could “potentially be perceived as offensive, including ... material that offends or harasses on the basis of race, sex, religion, color.”


On Aug. 20, 2014, about 10 days after the shooting of Michael Brown set off riots in Ferguson, Mo., Eschert wrote this post on her Facebook page: 

“White guy shot by police yesterday near Ferguson ... Where is Obama? Where is Holder? Where is Al Sharpton? Where are Trayvon Martin’s parents? Where are all the white guys supporters? So is everyone MAKING it a racial issue? So tired it’s a racial thing. If you are a thug and worthless to society, it’s not race – You’re just a waste no matter what religion, race or sex you are.”

A week later, Eschert shared a post on the same page that blamed President Barack Obama for feeding the “racial tension and cultural divide” that had contributed to the deaths of hundreds of police officers since Obama took office. 

Though both posts were made on Eschert’s non-public Facebook page, they were sent to police and fire officials by a person named Linda Havery, who said the posts were stirring controversy in the community and on the Web.

The Observer has not been able to identify a Linda Havery living in the Charlotte area, and Eschert and her attorney believe the emails were either sent by someone in the fire department or some other part of city government. 

Eschert was fired that fall.

She claims the real reason for her termination was her role as a whistleblower in raising questions about the quality of renovations at a new arson unit center on North Graham Street. Eschert did not notify her bosses of her concerns. Instead, she and her father-in-law, Ray Eschert, a politically connected Ballantyne businessman, contacted City Council member Claire Fallon. 

Fallon toured the building with then City Manager Ron Carlee and fire department official – the same day someone created the Linda Havery profile on Facebook, and Eschert made her first post. 

Attorney Sara Lincoln, who is representing the city, told Whitney that no evidence has been produced that ties Havery to the city or proves that the fire department leaders even knew Eschert had complained about the arson building. 

Nor can Eschert argue that the Facebook posts were a pretext for her firing and then claim that her First Amendment rights were violated, Lincoln said.

She told Whitney that Eschert’s comments on Facebook undermined her government responsibilities and were posted “when racial tensions in Charlotte and the United States were running extraordinarily high,” and may have jeopardized her co-workers’ safety.

Eschert’s attorney, Meg Maloney, countered that her client, at the time of her Facebook posts, was her department’s youngest employee who didn’t realize that her post – in particular her use of “thug” – may have been offensive to African Americans “because she’s not an African American. But there is nothing in the post that says she’s not open to understanding.”

In court and in earlier filings, Maloney has argued that Eschert was singled out for firing when other fire department employees, including top managers, received lesser punishment for similar Facebook comments. 

In the end, Whitney decided that Eschert’s claims had enough merit to move forward. He foreshadowed his decision earlier in the hour-long hearing when he interrupted Lincoln while she was arguing that the suit should be dismissed. 

“Do I have to take your word for this or should a jury decide?” he asked. “That’s a lot for me to swallow.”

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In rejecting a City of Charlotte argument that Eschert’s lawsuit should be thrown out, Whitney says those and other questions should be answered by a jury. He ruled that Eschert’s complaint, which alleges First Amendment violations, wrongful discharge, sexual discrimination and other claims, can proceed. 

The legal fight dates back to the fire department’s efforts to control employee posts on social media. In 2013, the department adopted a policy that prohibits “simultaneously” identifying oneself as a department employee while displaying materials that could “potentially be perceived as offensive, including ... material that offends or harasses on the basis of race, sex, religion, color.”

Read more here:

Read more here: