Nicely handled by Rep. Wittman too:
Cross-posted at Virginia Virtucon.
Nicely handled by Rep. Wittman too:
Cross-posted at Virginia Virtucon.
Ugh, just ugh:
Sound familiar? Sure does for me:
I wish politicians would call these type of people out as the nuts they are, instead of twisting these questions into something that actually sounds sane (like a general question on pollutants). And it’s sad that the myth about mercury and autism survives to this day. If you want a good read about that, check out this article in Discover magazine.
Thankfully, this was the only real nut that attended the Fredericksburg town hall meeting unlike the meeting in Warsaw (still need to post video of some of those questions).
Does anyone remember the Caroline County constitutional officers debate back in 2007 at the Bowling Green Town Hall? Perhaps when the question of gangs and gang crime came up to the candidates for Sheriff? Tony Lippa stated that we only had “wannabes” in the county.
Here are some pictures that were taken of graffiti found in Port Royal in mid-July (photo credit: My brother, Garrett Watson; shameless plug: check out his own two hate-blogs, On The Right and Orange, VA Independence Day Tea Party):
Here’s some information about the graffiti from my brother as well:
This is the second time there has been gang graffiti in Port Royal, about 2 years ago there was Bloods graffiti in the trailer park in the western end of the town. Now this is on the town square. […] The graffiti is at the intersection of King and Middle street in Port Royal.
Judging as far as the graffiti goes, it is from the Traveling Vice Lords, or TVLN, TVL, a gang unified under the People Nation. The gang started in Chicago. They are united with Bloods and the United Blood Nation on the east cost. The heart symbol in the graffiti is a Vice Lord symbol, the upside down 3 pointed pitchfork is a disrespecting symbol to the Folk Nation, the rival to the People Nation, Vice Lords, and Bloods in the area. The name “duece” is most likely a street name of the writer of the graffiti or could be another Vice Lord clique that the TVL are affiliated with. If the “duece” is the gang members street name, the 2 under the two hearts means he is a 2 star Lieutenant within the gang.
He sent that information to several people in the Sheriff’s Office and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and never got a response. So much for that ‘community policing’ the Sheriff’s Office is supposed to pride themselves on. Thankfully, at least the property owner, or someone else, had painted over the graffiti by the next day.
And it get even funnier when you read Portsia Smith’s “Caroline Crossroads” blog, where she notes the events for last night’s National Night Out:
Ladysmith Neighborhood Watch, the Attorney General’s Office and the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office will host “National Night Out” August 4 at the Ladysmith Village Residents Club starting at 5:30 PM.
At 6:30 PM the Attorney General’s Office will discuss gang prevention, and screen an award-winning educational video, The Wrong Family-Virginia Fights Back Against Gangs.
Wait a second, I thought we only had “wannabes”! So, do we have gangs or a gang problem or not in this county? And where do I go to get a straight answer to that question?
Then we have someone else involved in the criminal justice system in Caroline County — who shall remain nameless — that says we don’t have gangs, we have “different groups” which commit crimes.
That’s right, different groups. That commit crimes. Let’s review the definition of a “criminal street gang” in Va. Code § 18.2-46.1:
“Criminal street gang” means any ongoing organization, association, or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, (i) which has as one of its primary objectives or activities the commission of one or more criminal activities; (ii) which has an identifiable name or identifying sign or symbol; and (iii) whose members individually or collectively have engaged in the commission of, attempt to commit, conspiracy to commit, or solicitation of two or more predicate criminal acts, at least one of which is an act of violence, provided such acts were not part of a common act or transaction.
What constitutes a “predicate criminal act” and an “act of violence” are also defined in the same section.
Looks like these “different groups” that go around committing crimes are pretty close to the definition of a “criminal street gang”, if they don’t meet the requirements already.
Other sections of the Code of Virginia provide for increased punishment for crimes that are committed to the benefit of the gang, such as recruitment, as well as for gang activity in school zones, and provides for civil asset forfeiture for the proceeds of gang crimes.
But this problem isn’t restricted to just Caroline County. A couple of years ago, a Virginia State Trooper who worked in Fredericksburg stated to a room with 30 people in it, “Fredericksburg does not have a gang problem, it has a gang presence.” To which anyone with a brain or a sarcastic bone in their body would think: Isn’t the presence a problem? (The Trooper also stated that there was no gang graffiti in the city, and any vandalism that you saw was the work of “taggers”. Um, yeah, sure.)
To demonstrate how absurd that comment is, think about this: Would anyone state the following?
“We don’t have a mafia problem, we have a mafia presence.”
“We don’t have a serial-killer problem, we have a serial-killer presence.”
“We don’t have a terrorist problem, we have a terrorist presence.”
Heck no. And if anyone stated that privately — much less publicly — they would be kicked out of their organization faster than you can say “gang problem”. But that doesn’t happen in this case, of course, because the Trooper is just repeating the company line.
One thing I want to make clear, however, is that I’m not advocating for a ‘moral panic’ liked what happened in Las Vegas and Nevada from the late ’80s to the early ’90s. (If you want to learn more about that, read The Political and Organizational Response to Gangs: An Examination of a “Moral Panic” in Nevada [PDF] by Richard C. McCorkle and Terance D. Miethe.)
The problem here is that people in the government — state or local — refuse to acknowledge and accept the reality of the situation. And while gangs may commit the same types of crimes that individuals do, there are support systems, tools (some of which I outlined above), and strategies that can used specifically against them. If the police and prosecutors in the area refuse to acknowledge the existence of gangs in their jurisdictions, those support systems, tools, and strategies are useless.
There’s also another possibility: The police and prosecutors know full-well that there are gangs and/or a gang problem in their jurisdictions and they just choose to lie to the public while simultaneously refusing to use those support systems, tools, and strategies.
Someone tell me which option is worse: Willful ignorance or lying to citizens?
Cross-posted at Virginia Virtucon.
Shot in Fredericksburg:
Okay, his positions are the following:
1.) The voters should have a say on the legality of gay marriage so he voted twice to put the gay marriage ban amendment on the ballot.
2.) Yet he campaigned against the amendment and claims to have voted against it.
3.) He believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
4.) He believes that everyone should have equal rights.
5.) He won’t give a firm answer on whether gay marriage is a civil right.
How many contradictions are in that list? If he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, why did he campaign and vote against the ban? If he believes that everyone should have equal rights, why doesn’t that apply to gay marriage?
And for the record, this is not intended as a hit piece. I’m just trying to get the person that wants to be our next Governor to give a firm answer on a issue and not try to play both sides of the fence.
And as for the answer regarding the right-to-work amendment to constitution: Five other states already have constitutional amendments guaranteeing an employee’s right-to-work: Arizona, ((“Arizona News & Legislation.” National Right to Work Committee. <http://www.nrtwc.org/states/az.htm>.)) Arkansas, ((“Arkansas News & Legislation.” National Right to Work Committee. <http://www.nrtwc.org/states/ar.htm>.)) Florida, ((“Florida News & Legislation.” National Right to Work Committee. <http://www.nrtwc.org/states/fl.htm>.)) Mississippi, ((“Mississippi News & Legislation.” National Right to Work Committee. <http://www.nrtwc.org/states/ms.htm>.)) and Oklahoma. ((“Oklahoma News & Legislation.” National Right to Work Committee. <http://www.nrtwc.org/states/ok.htm>.))
She joins the distinguished list that includes reporters Ellen Blitz, Jeff Branscome, Frank Delano, Keith Epps, Robin Knepper, and editors Dick Hammerstrom, Laura Hutchison, Phil Jenkins.
From an article written by Pamela Gould about the abduction, robbery, and presumptive murder of Yong Hui Zhang*:
An online check of court records by The Free Lance-Star turned up no criminal charges for either suspect [Jermaine Montgomery or Marcey White] in the Fredericksburg region or in the Tidewater area, Southampton or Sussex.
Well you guys did an excellent job of checking the independent city of Franklin**, the very jurisdiction they were arrested in!
A Jermaine Montgomery with the birthday of September 16th has been charged with the following in Franklin:
A felony charge of credit card fraud which was reduced to a misdemeanor charge of “petty [sic] larceny” which resulted in a deposition of guilty on December 3, 2007 (case number: GC07002067-00).
A felony charge for illegally obtaining a credit card number was dismissed on December 3, 2007 as well (probably a plea bargain involved there) (case number: GC07002069-00).
A pending case for a show cause for failure to pay restitution (case number: GC07002067-01).
On November 30, 2007 he was found guilty of a seat belt violation for a eight to fifteen year old as well as having no driver’s license (case numbers: GT07001731-00 & GT07001732-00). He was found not guilty of operating an uninspected vehicle (case number: GT07001732-00).
And of course, that isn’t the only error in the story unfortunately (or fortunately for me since it gives me something to write about):
Under state law, a slaying in the commission of another felony, including abduction or robbery, qualifies for a charge of capital murder and a possible death sentence.
You would think that a newspaper would do a little due diligence and bother doing some research before they start throwing the words “capital murder” around.
First, not every “slaying in the commission of another felony” is capital murder. You may be thinking of felony murder Ms. Gould. Felony murder (§ 18.2-33) is punished as second-degree murder in Virginia (“punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than forty years” [§ 18.2-32]).
While, yes, a “willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of robbery or attempted robbery” is considered capital murder (§ 18.2-31(4)), a capital murder charge for abduction requires the “willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of abduction […] when such abduction was committed with the intent to extort money or a pecuniary [monetary] benefit or with the intent to defile the victim of such abduction” (§ 18.2-31(1)) [emphasis mine].
Just so you know Free Lance–Dog Trainer, you could hire me as an ombudsman or editor to keep you guys straight.
*Get your own link. I refuse to link to that sorry excuse of a newspaper.
**Not to be confused with the county of Franklin, which is located in southwestern Virginia.
The body of a Fredericksburg deliveryman who was abducted Thursday night was found last night in a remote area of Sussex County, Fredericksburg police said.
Yong Hui Zhang, 24, disappeared sometime after 9:30 p.m. Thursday while making deliveries for his family’s restaurant, China Express at 1500 Jefferson Davis Highway in Fredericksburg.
Zhang was found shortly after police arrested suspects Jermaine Montgomery, 34 and Marcey White, 36, in southeastern Virginia. His car was found not far from his remains, authorities said.
Montgomery and White were arrested shortly after 5:00 p.m. at a Wal-Mart in Franklin, police said. Zhang’s family contacted police at 10:15 p.m. Thursday when he did not return from his last round of deliveries.
One of Zhang’s deliveries was to a vacant apartment at 202 Charles St., police said. Police believe Zhang was ambushed and assaulted there.
Montgomery and White have been charged with abduction, conspiracy to commit abduction, carjacking, conspiracy to commit carjacking, credit-card theft, and conspiracy to commit credit-card theft, Fredericksburg police said.
A third suspect was in the Wal-Mart with Montgomery and White at the time of the arrest. Police said there are no charges against that person.
Zhang’s cause of death has not been determined yet, police said.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic turn of events,” Fredericksburg chief David Nye said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the Zhang family for their terrible loss.”
Two suspects wanted in the abduction and robbery of a Fredericksburg delivery man were arrested in the city of Franklin shortly after 5:30 p.m. today, Fredericksburg police said.
Jermaine Montgomery, 34, and his girlfriend, Marcey White, 36, were arrested at a Wal-Mart in Franklin, said Natatia L. Bledsoe, spokeswoman for the Fredericksburg Police Department.
Yong Hui Zhang and his vehicle are still missing. His bronze 2004 Nissan Sentra had Virginia license plates JPB6401, police said.
“Locating the victim and his vehicle are our primary concern at this moment,” Bledsoe said.
Zhang’s family reported him missing Thursday night after the 24-year-old left the family’s restaurant to make deliveries.
Police said Montgomery used Zhang’s credit card at the Four Mile Fork Shell station in Spotsylvania County shortly after the delivery driver was reported missing.
“We remain hopeful of a positive outcome to these horrific circumstances for Mr. Zhang and his family,” Fredericksburg Chief of Police David Nye said in a statement today.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Fredericksburg Police Department at (540) 373-3122.
Police in Fredericksburg have identified a man they allege is behind the abduction and robbery of a missing Chinese food deliveryman.
Investigators on Saturday obtained warrants charging Jermaine Montgomery, 34, with abduction, conspiracy to commit abduction, carjacking, conspiracy to commit carjacking, credit card theft and conspiracy to commit credit card theft, according to a press release.
Yong Hui Zhang left his parents’ China Express restaurant on Jefferson Davis Highway at about 9:20 p.m. Thursday to make three deliveries. When he didn’t return by closing time, his relatives contacted police.
Officers checked one of the delivery sites and found evidence of a violent crime. Officials said they found a large amount of blood and a shoe that could belong to Zhang.
Zhang and his vehicle, a bronze 2004 Nissan Sentra with Virginia license plates JPB6401, are still missing.
Police identified Montgomery after releasing surveillance video of a man using the victim’s credit card at the Four Mile Fork Shell station in Spotsylvania County at 10:45 p.m. on the night of the abduction.
Police Chief David Nye on Saturday asked the public’s help in locating the missing man and his car. He said Montgomery and his girlfriend, Marcey White, are possibly in southeastern Virginia and may still be driving Zhang’s car. White faces the same charges as Montgomery and police said both are to be “considered to be extremely dangerous.”
Officers are continuing to search for Zhang and hope that he is found alive.
“We remain hopeful of a positive outcome to these horrific circumstances for Mr. Zhang and his family,” Nye said.
Anyone with information should contact Fredericksburg police at 540-373-3122.