As part of the Department of Education’s service to parents, today it launced a call center and two parent-friendly websites. These new resources should help parents with questions regarding FCAT, school accountability system, tougher academic standards and new standardized exams.
The Discovery report was released yesterday in the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Sanford police concluded, what everyone with common sense clearly knows, that Trayvon Martin’s death could’ve been avoided. George Zimmerman had no right to pursue (stalk) Trayvon Martin period. George Zimmerman’s actions of following Trayvon Martin and then getting out of his car to confront him, is almost the same as a person driving around in a car with a blue light and pulling over an innocent driver (impersonating a police officer).
People are trying to compare George Zimmerman’s bruises to his statement saying that it’s obvious that George Zimmerman was being attacked by Trayvon. Who wouldn’t fight for their life? Whether you’re age 5, 17,95 or older– if you’re minding your own business and then all of a sudden a stranger approaches you and tries to harm you, you have every right to try to protect yourself. Do you remember Samantha Runnion? Back in 2002, Samantha Runnion, who was this little 5-year-old girl, was sitting outside of her grandmother’s apartment playing with another little girl when this strange man walked up to her and grabbed her. It was reported that Samantha yelled out to her little friend something in the essence of “go get my grandma”. Within hours of Samantha’s abduction, her abducter was apprehended and soon after 5-year-old Samantha Runnion was found dead (my heart still hurts for that little girl). The one thing that was etched in my mind to remember her was that the police said she fought her abductor. When the police pulled the car over that her abductor was driving, they noticed that he had fresh scratches on him. What a brave little girl. Here you have this 5-year-old girl who was by far no match to this grown man, but she fought him as best as she could for her life. A witness in the Trayvon Martin case stated that Trayvon was doing MMA (mixed marshall arts) style fighting on George Zimmerman. Again, fighting for his life.
Where was the immediate arrest warrant here?
The 911 call placed by George Zimmerman screams alot. The Sanford chief-of-police and other law enforcement officers knew this–that’s why they did not want to release the 911 call or calls. On the call placed by George Zimmerman tells you that he’s angry, he’s a profiler, he’s a stalker and that he has no respect for authority. Other 911 calls from neighbors tells you that he’s an executioner. No matter how George Zimmerman supports try to spin this case, it is what it is–George Zimmerman is a murderer.
Brevard County, Florida, on May, 15, 2012, a 33-year-old mother shot and killed her children, two boys and two girls, ages 12-17, and then killed herself. The family was stamped as the “Problem Family” in the neighborhood where they lived. The shooting spree took place during the early morning hours. In the middle of the shooting spree, three of the children ran out of the house to seek help at one of their neighbor’s house. The neighbor described the children as “trying to break the door down,”. The neighbor admitted to opening the door and seeing blood on one of the children but was bewildered as to what was going on, so he placed a 911 call. The children were never let into the house. The neighbor says that when he went to get towels, the mother called the children to come back home. The neighbor did not question the mother as to what was going on and allowed the children to return home. One of the children collapsed in the front yard, where she later died. The following shots the remaining shots that took their lives were heard by the neighbor and the 911 dispatcher. The “Problem Family” is the “Dead Family” now.
Some people in the neighborhood told reporters that the police had been called out to the home several times. They said that the children were always getting into things. A neighbor said that the oldest boy, 15-years-old, was constantly in trouble and believed that the mother was trying to get help for him. Everyone seems to be unsure about what set the mother off to kill her family.
At the family home, a make-shift memorial, full of football jerseys, teddy bears and flowers covered the front porch, the driveway and the lawn. There were so many people visiting the home, that the police were called to observe the crowd.
Where are people when you really need them?
This is an all around sad story. It’s sad that this young mother was pushed to make this final decision for herself and her family. It’s sad that she sought help from the local law enforcement agency and probably received little to no help.
I say this because I’ve called on law enforcement to help me get a message across to my son (even if it could’ve been to scare him up). And when they came out–they made it seem like I had no authority and he (my son) had authority. I felt like law enforcement had actually gave my son more nerve to be disrespectful. I could only blame myself for that because after all, I had taught him that law enforcement officers are powerful and trustworthy people. And as parents, we all know that our children know that we are powerful and trustworthy too, but we are also on the frontline for when our children want to be rebellious. I have to believe that no parent wants to call the police on their child. But when they do, law enforcement should come out with reinforcement–especially when the call is something as simple as dealing with a defiant child. Law enforcement agents should take the call serious and extend themselves to whatever measures that will help the child understand that the parent is only looking out for their best interest.
I don’t know the ends and outs about this young mother and her family, but I strongly feel like if a quarter of the adults (law enforcement officers, neighbors and all) that stood outside of the victims home on patrol and mourning their deaths, would’ve been their to support the mother and her family when they were alive, then just maybe they all would be alive today.
School district superintendents across the state are urging parents not to worry about the drastic decrease among students in regards to Florida Ccomprehensive Assessment Test writing scores. What is being reported is that last year at least 81 percent of 4th graders passed the test on level 4. This year about 27 percent of 4th graders passed on level 4. How does a parent not panic? That’s a tremendous dip. I know for a fact that school teachers are not the same today as they were when I was in school. It’s going to be interesting to see how this one plays out. Maybe when it’s all said and done–the school district superintendents will say that they felt betrayed by their principals and teachers the same way Dr. Julian White, the band director at FAMU said that he felt betrayed by his students and staff.
Where are the adults/ chaperones here?
Dr. White–what happened to roll call before boarding the bus? What college student wouldn’t try to get away with whatever? It’s sad enough that Robert Champion lost his life on the trip to Orlando. His parents knew that he was in the band and they knew that he was taking the bus back to the hotel. What they probably didn’t know was that on that same bus were young adults who were not band members. If something would’ve happen to one of the young adults on the bus who was not a band members–I can’t help but to wonder if him/ her themselves would’ve been the one to blame? How much attention would his/ her death had gotten? And if people would’ve felt sympathy for the family or what? That’s why it is so important to get the message that Robert Champion’s death is sending. There has to be major changes that will protect our children when they go off to college.
On May 12, 2012, in Orange County, Florida, two grown men had been charged and arrested for the deaths of two teenagers. Jesse Davis, 30-years-old and Hector Rodriguez, 31-years-old, have been denied bond for the murders. The teenagers, 16-year-old Nick Presha and 18-year-old Jeremy Stewart, were Winter Park High school students. On April 15, 2012, their bodies were found smoldering on a popular walking/ bike trail located in east Orange County. Autopsies showed that the teens hands were bound behind their backs and they both had been shot in the head, before their bodies were set on fire. Shortly after the discovery of the bodies, the Orange County Sheriff’s office had one person of interest under arrest on unrelated charges.
Early on into the investigation, the Orange County Sheriff’s office reported that Jesse Davis, who has been in and out of mental institutions, was known to terrorize people in the neighborhood where he lived, which was not to far from where the bodies were found. Now the sheriff’s office is reporting that the boys were killed while trying to sell two stolen handguns to the suspects.
Where are the adults here?
I’ll admit, when it comes to gun ownership–I’ve always been on the fence about it. On one hand, I understand why some people would choose to own one or more guns. But on the other hand, I know first hand about how careless people can be when it comes to storing guns. And sometimes the results in the owners carelessness with storing their guns can land in the guns in the wrong hands. What I really don’t get is– why gun makers haven’t done more to protect and detect guns when they are stolen?
Last Friday, I was watching the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. I don’t watch Rachel’s show on a regular basis, but once again it was about timing. In the opening of her show, Rachel reported on how due to the reconfiguration of gas tanks on cars, truck and SUVs, the government has decided to take off the boot-like device that is attached to the nozzle of the end of the gas pumps. The purpose of the boot-like device on the nozzle was to prevent gas fumes from seeping into the environment. Rachel said that by removing those boot-like devices, the government and gas station owners will be saving millions– if not billions– of dollars.
Do you remember when car thefts was like one of the hottest crimes out there? When it was a huge deal for people to steal cars and such a tragedy for those who owned them? Over the years, engineers have come up with Vehicle Identification Numbers, GPS Navigation and On-Star systems, etc. in order to track vehicles. It’s been reported that it’s easier to find a stolen car than a kidnapped child–now that’s really sad. But the point I’m trying to make is– where is the tracking device on handguns? I’m not talking about simple serial numbers. I’m talking about a special device that should be able to go into the chamber of guns in order for gun sellers/ owners to track their guns. A device that could be built into the gun that if and when someone attempts to remove the device, they have to dismantle the gun in such a way that it will then be useless. Now, for those of you who may be saying–well, that sounds like a good idea–why don’t you come up with a device for it? I say to you, I know I’m not the only one who has thought about this. I’m sure that a lot of people (including gun makers/ owners, etc.) have thought about ways to track their guns. After all, it’s their investments. So really–how important is it to them to get guns off of the streets?
In Brevard County, FL, Alysia Flynn, a mother and former Cocoa Beach police officer, is facing 97 felony charges, some including having sex with a minor. It’s been reported that her son and the minor that she’s been accused of having sex with attend the same high school. Alysia Flynn has been married for 13 years. Her husband says that he will continue to support his wife.
Where are the adults in the police office/ community?
This is a very unfortunate situation for all families and their communities. This stretches way out there because not only is the loss of trust in a law enforcement officer destroyed, but a mother–what happens to her children and their state of mind? And the minor who she’s been accused of having sex with–what about his state of mind and his family, especially his siblings state of mind? These types of situations affects generations. This situation sort of hits home with me because my son was invited to an ex-law enforcement officer’s home–and because of the carelessness of the homeowner and his adult son–my son and my family has been scared. Law enforcement agents and teachers are pillars in their communities. I used to think–what parent wouldn’t want their child to be friends with a child of a law enforcement officer? Now, I don’t know what to think.
In Seminole County, Florida, Richard Joy, a Seminole High School social studies teacher, was arrested for having felony amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his home. School Board members voted to have the teacher, who’d been working in the district for 6 years, fired. Rumor has it that the teacher may have been selling marijuana to students. However, deputies say there’s no evidence at this time to show that he’d been selling marijuana to students. An anonymous tip is what led deputies to the teacher’s home.
Where are the adults in the schools?
What people do in their homes is beyond my control. But when a person takes a job as a school teacher, that person signs off on rules, regulations, policies, etc. that they will abided by. If a teacher wants to smoke marijuana, then he/she needs to find another career path. Simply because of the influential position that teachers have on all students–directly and indirectly. Think about how many students at Seminole High School went home and told their parents and their siblings about this teacher’s arrest. As a parent, that’s a setback in your teaching of ethics.
Whenever a company is found to have put out a bad product, whether it be a food product or a manufacturing product, they are morally responsible to inform the public about the product’s defect. Companies usually do this by “recalling” the product using mass media networks.
On Sunday, May 6, 2012, I sat and watched the T.V. show 60 Minutes. I don’t remember when was the last time I’d watched the show but I was glad to have caught last night’s episode reported by Byron Pitts. He reported on how two brave young reporters took down the Whitley County Sheriff back in 2009. Whitley County is located in Kentucky. The sheriff and his friend (a popular local defense attorney) were found to be low-down and dirty. Which is where I got today’s headline.
While watching Byron Pitts segment, I couldn’t help but to think about the Leon Count Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office and their handlings of not just my son’s case but other cases that have passed through their jurisdiction. Some Leon County Sheriff employees have come out and exposed some of the unethical practices that are being exercised in the workplace. Some of the employees clearly stating that Sheriff Larry Campbell operates under the ‘Good Ole Boy’ network (sounds familiar). No corrupt leader serves justice to the community. Which leads me back to product “recall”.
When a sheriff is believed to be corrupt, it is only fair for the community to take action and make the sheriff answer direct questions from ordianary citizens. If he/ she cannot answer the questions directly, then a special election needs to be put into effect immediately (recall). Because it’s our tax dollars that are going to pay for that sheriff’s corrupt actions. Who do you think is paying for the death of Rachel Hoffman? Not the Tallahassee Police Department. Her parents were awarded 2.4 million dollars! So if you don’t live long enough to pay them off, your children will pick up where you left off. Especially if your income is within the lower to middle-class income bracket. Remember–it’s the citizens within the upper-class income bracket that gets all of the tax breaks. And more than likely the head of a law enforcement agency is with out a doubt within that upper-class income bracket. So now–you tell me–how does a corrupt leader serve the community?
If you’re interesed in viewing/ reading the segment about the corrupt sheriff in Whitley County, click on the 60 Minutes link below:
On May 5, 2012, law enforcement officers from FSU, TPD and the Leon County Sheriff’s Department rode their bikes through various obstacle courses. This event was held to award officers, as well as to raise money for the Special Olympics Program for the Leon County district and Kids First Fund.
As the legal guardian of a special needs child (my 17-year-old nephew), my family has reaped great benefits of the funds raised through these types of events. From middle school through high school, my nephew has competed in many different Special Olympics competitions. He’s won plenty of Gold and Silver medals in Track and Field (he wears his medals proudly). He especially loves the medals that he has won in the Annual Special Olympics at Disney World.
My nephew, who is in his senior year of high school, was front and center when Detective Don Odham, Lt. Timothy Baxter, Deputy Clifton Couch, Deputy Brian Pearson and two other unknown deputies aggressively badgered my son’s 21-year-old co-worker/ roommate in the parking lot of the young man’s apartment complex. All but one deputy were acting like a group of bullies. They were taking turns on this obvious frightened young man. They were literally playing good cop/ bad cop with this young man. It was a scary sight for even me to have witnessed. That’s why as an adult–as a praying mother, I was not all that surprised when I read the probable cause arrest warrant. In the arrest warrant it states that this same young man admitted to knowing that my son was in possession of firearms and he (the young man) drove my son to the residence and sat in the car in a dark driveway across the street from the residence, mind you–this young man is not under arrest. As a matter of fact, the State Attorney’s office has teamed up with the sheriff’s office in practicing bullying. You see this young man has pending charges. So everytime that my son’s trial date changes, the young man’s trial date changes–always a week or two after my son’s trial date. If the State Attorney’s office and the Leon County Sheriff’s office aren’t holding their feet on this young man’s throat then I’m not a God fearing woman. But the most disheartening thing that happened directly after the deputies finished bullying the young man was when the deputies flat out told that boldfaced lie and then handcuffed my son. My special needs nephew and my 8-year-old great-niece witnessed everything. Deputy Couch, who was ordered by Lt. Baxter to place my son under arrest, removed the handcuffs off of my son because they knew that they were lying. Both my nephew and my great-niece knew that they’d lied. At one point both of them asked me, “why are the police lying on Shon?” How does a parent answer a question like that? How do you make a child see good in law enforcement officers, when they have witnessed them tell a boldfaced lie?
Fortunately, like I mentioned earlier—I am a praying mother—and I was able to explain to them that all police officers are not bad people—all of them are not liars. Unfortunately, because of the mounting lies of the Leon County bullies, my family is facing financial and mental hurdles that are sometimes overwhelming. And because of this, my nephew was not able to participate in any of the Special Olympics events this year. What should’ve been his best year of high school—senior events, prom and graduation—was tarnished by bullies that represented the very agency that was behind the highlights of his previous high school years.
A jury Friday night took a little more than an hour to find an Orlando police officer not guilty of shoving a teenager to the ground, punching him and illegally detaining him and his girlfriend.
Dante Candelaria, 39, then a member of the department’s gang unit, was charged with two felony counts of false imprisonment and one count of misdemeanor battery.
“I can start walking with my head up now without the ridicule of the public,” Candelaria after the verdict.
The case began Jan. 28, 2011 when Candelaria — who was awarded a state medal of heroism for saving a grandmother from an apartment fire in 2005 — tried to pull over the brother of Emilie Rodriguez, then 15. The brother, Juan Rodriguez fled.
To try to find Juan Rodriguez, Candelaria approached Emilie and her boyfriend, Bryan Payne, then 17, Assistant State Attorney Steve Foster told the jury Thursday.
Emilie testified that as she left a convenience store on Semoran Boulevard, Candelaria yelled at her to stop, told her to sit down, pointed his gun at her and asked where her brother was.
“He had no right to point his gun at a 15-year-old girl and order her to get down on the ground just because he wanted to know where her brother was,” Foster told the jury.
Candelaria eventually let Emilie go, and she walked toward nearby McCoy Elementary School. There, she saw Candelaria confront Payne, she said.
Payne, now 19, testified that Candelaria “blindsided” him as he sat on a bench at the school about 9 p.m., yelled at him, slammed him into a wall, punched him, handcuffed and searched him. Video corroborated most of Payne’s testimony, Foster said.
But defense attorney David Bigney said that nothing in the video suggested Candelaria committed a crime. In his closing argument, Bigney said Emilie’s testimony that Candelaria pointed his gun at her was not credible.
He also said Candelaria had a right to detain Payne because Payne admitted trespassing on school property. The state argued that sitting on a bench in a public area is not trespassing. Bigney further argued that other officers saw no signs that Payne had been punched.
Candelaria, who has been on desk duty while waiting for the criminal case to be resolved, said he hopes to return to patrol. Police Department procedure is to conduct an internal investigation first, Bigney said.