Crime Feed

Ryan Lochte's Non-Apology and What Really Happened in Rio?

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The Ryan Lochte Rio Olympics scandal continues to be prominently featured in the media with the latest news of two of his major sponsors, Speedo and Ralph Lauren, severing ties with the athlete because of his shenanigans in Rio.

Gunnar Bent Jack Conger Rio
US swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger leave Rio.

For sure Lochte, his teammates - Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and the local people involved know what really happened during the athletes' night out in Rio even if the rest of the world can only speculate. What we do know for sure is that Ryan Lochte’s recounting of what happened changed a few times. We also know that the guys out on the town with Lochte disputed key elements of Lochte’s story. Yet there was also agreement that guns were drawn on them during the encounter with men who may or may not have been security guards who were also robbers. 

So, it is entirely possible that Lochte and Rio locals both embellished…over-exaggerated…lied about what actually happened. That $11,000 donation to charity that Feigen had to make before he was allowed to leave Brazil, seems an awful lot like a shakedown. I’m just saying. 

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US swimmer Jimmy Feigen leaves court after his passport was returned. He had to pay a fine of almost $11,000.

Even if it is proven that Ryan Lochte is not the only person that lied regarding this incident, he will be remembered for not owning up to his lies and other mistakes. He will be remembered for his apology that was actually a non-apology. He will be remembered for leaving his teammates in Rio while he hurriedly returned to the United States. He is already the brunt of jokes and subject of social media memes. 

 

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US swimmer Ryan Lochte's non-apology apology.

Many in the mainstream media will be remembered for providing cover for Lochte by trying to convince the world that the incident was just a juvenile act. I see you Billy Bush. Many in the mainstream media seem to have forgotten that Ryan Lochte is 32-years-old. Far too old for the foolishness and lies about what happened in Rio.

 

As far as the end of his endorsement deals with Speedo and Ralph Lauren, it is not likely the deals would have been renewed anyway. Lochte performed admirably during the games but his individual performance was not spectacular.  The endorsement deals would likely go to other athletes a la Michael Phelps….Simone Biles…Katie Ledecky…etcetera. 

I don’t know Ryan Lochte personally but I'm willing to bet that the worse part of this horrible situation is the fact that he lied to his mother. Sure, he was the center of an international incident but disappointing and embarrassing his mom is a probably a much bigger deal. 

While the incident in Rio overshadowed the magnificent athletic accomplishments of Team USA at this year's Summer Olympics, as time passes and Ryan Lochte completes his punishment and attempts to redeem himself with gold medal winning individual performances in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, America will salute his story of perseverance and redemption. 

 

Related Links:

Sports investigation raises questions about Rio cops, Lochte incident

U.S. swimmer Gunnar Bentz apologizes for gas station incident, says video footage missing

Lochte’s Teammates Say This Is What Actually Happened That Night In Rio

#LochteGate: Best Ryan Lochte Robbery in Rio Memes & Tweets

 

 


One Year Ago Today: Remembering the Mother Emanuel Nine

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A year ago, today, America mourned the massacre of nine worshippers at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. Not much has changed regarding gun control laws since the day when Dylan Roof wanted to start a race war by murdering: Cynthia Hurd, 54; Susie Jackson, 87; Ethel Lance, 70; Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49; Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45; and Myra Thompson, 59. 

Even after The Honorable Clementa Pinkckney, South Carolina State Senator, was gunned down, Congress still has not passed a law requiring background checks, banning the sale of assault weapons and other common sense measures. Should we be surprised based on their actions or lack thereof after the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011 in which six people were killed?

To this day, congressmen shamelessly offer ridiculous rationale for holding fast to their position regarding gun control. Some even blame President Obama as if they have no role in the legislative process in the United States. 

After the most recent massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, again, we mourn the loss of 49 victims of senseless gun violence.  More than 50 people were also wounded in that incident. 

At what point do we, as Americans, care enough to elect representatives who will put American citizens first? Enough is enough. If we don't care enough after the Massacre at Mother Emanuel or Orlando or San Bernardino or Sandy Hook or Aurora or any weekend in some cities in America, then shame on us. 

Miss me with the hashtags, catchy slogans and creative graphics expressing unity, outrage and sympathy to yourself if you are not going to do anything more than lip service or be a keyboard commando. 

Sleep in Paradise, Emmanuel Nine, you are not forgotten. Disarm hate.

 

 

 

 

 


President Obama on the Newtown Massacre [VIDEO and FULL TRANSCRIPT]

 

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President Barack Obama delivers solemn message on shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

It goes without saying that today is one of those days that we will remember forever. The nation has been saddened by the murders of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Details of the sequence of events are still developing but it appears that the shooter also killed his mother who was a teacher's aide at the school and his brother.

From earlier reports, Newtown was the kind of place that families in citites moved to so their children would grow up in a safe and peaceful environment. How sad. Because of this latest tragedy, there will be discussions on gun control and mental illness. When all is said and done, will anything really be done to make sure a tragedy of this magnitude never occurs again? Let's make sure it does by contacting our elected officials. This. Must. Stop.

President Barack Obama fought back tears as he delivered the speech below regarding the incident. 

 

Here are his full remarks:

 

This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation, and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families. 
 We've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would -- as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there's not a parent in America who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. 
 The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers -- men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.
 So our hearts are broken today -- for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.
 As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it's an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago -- these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
 This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter and we'll tell them that we love them, and we'll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight. And they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans. And I will do everything in my power as President to help.
Because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need -- to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours. 
May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.

 


The President also issued a proclamation honoring the victims of the tragedy, ordering U.S. flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on December 18.

 


Judge Greg Mathis Speaks on Troy Davis

Check out Judge Greg Mathis's take on the Troy Davis situation. I was surprised he spoke out as that's not something judges typically do. Do you agree with him? Is it time to end the death penalty in the Uinted States?

 


An American Crime: The True Story of the Murder of Sylvia Likens [VIDEO]

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I surfed across a creepy movie on the Sleuth Channel called An American Crime. I tried not to focus on it because I was in "Sunday afternoon my weekend is almost over" multi-tasking mode but I found myself drawn to it even more after learning it was based on a true story.

The movie, based on the abuse and murder of Sylvia Likens in Indianapolis in 1965, premiered on Showtime in May 2008 after production issues by First Look Productions. The stars of the movie include Catherine Keener as Gertrude Baniszewski and Ellen Page as Sylvia Likens.  Keener received and Emmy nomination for her performance.

An American Crime is haunting and intriguing. The real-life facts of the abuse, torture and murder of Sylvia Marie Likens are more horrifying than the movie. To know that Sylvia was not only tortured by the adult in whose care she and her sister Jenny were placed, but also at the hands of children was particularly nauseating.

  

 

Related Links:

StarFiles: The 1965 murder of Sylvia Likens

The Torturing Death of Sylvia Marie Likens

Sylvia Likens Memorial Website

Sundance Review: An American Crime

 


Scammers, Go Away!

The energy folks put into trying to scam folks out of personal information is amazing. The e-mail below was sent to me with the expectation that I would send my personal information, including the password to my e-mail account.

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Be very careful if you receive this e-mail message and don't disclose any personal information. We are fast approaching the holiday season and the crooks willbe out in force soon. Be careful on the internet and in person. Just be careful.


Jaycee Lee Dugard Free [VIDEO]

It is a miracle that Jaycee Lee Dugard is still alive after being abducted nearly 20 years ago. I can only imagine how her mother and stepfather feel learning that she is not dead. Her stepfather, a perennial suspect until her re-emergtence, her stepfather was the last one to see her --- except for her abductor--- until now. 

What that young woman and her children have endured these years remains to be revealed. What we already know is almost unbearable. What I don't understand is why Robert Garrido and his wife Nancy are entitled to a trial.

I pray that Jaycee will get the help she needs to overcome the abuse she has endured over the years; one can only imagine the horrors. Jaycee's ordeal also serves as a reminder of the reality of miracles and the power of prayer.

 

Fishermen, Pirates and Corporate Robber Barons: Putting Somali Piracy in Perspective

Mainstream media has inundated readers, listeners, and viewers with coverage of recent Somali piracy incidents off the waters of Africa. America waited anxiously for the outcome of the hostage situation that saw Maersk Alabama ship Capt. Richard Phillips in custody for five days.

The captain regained his freedom because of the successful execution of a rescue plan by Navy SEALs and a host other folks. The three captors on the lifeboat with the captain were killed and one captor was taken into custody. This post is not so much about that particular incident as much as why it occurred in the first place.

Somalia_punt226x250 As an American and citizen of the world, I was a bit perturbed that such a widespread and lucrative illegal industry has existed for almost two decades. What's up with that? The millions of dollars lost to pirates and the hundreds of sailors held hostage was as newsworthy when the incidents started in the early 90's as it is now.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective of this issue; the four pirates on the Alabama picked the wrong ship to rob. The media onslaught was tremendous. Resolution of this hostage situation would be televised, tweeted and broadcast using all mediums available. After all that hoopla, piracy continues.

One has to wonder, even as lucrative as piracy has become, why the Somalis are involved in piracy in the first place. The obvious answer is the money but there is another side to the situation that needs equal coverage.

Quite simply, commercialized fishing by other countries decimated Somalia's fishing industry and many Somalis are merely trying to survive. There are also reported instances of industrial pollution and shootings of innocent Somali fishermen. The Somali piracy issue is more complex than some may want known to the public.

When all is said and done, a happy medium must be reached because the world cannot tolerate the lawlessness of the pirates; the Somali people need economic viability and a stable government. Let's not kid ourselves; conceptually, the actions of the Somali pirates are the same as the robber barons of Wall Street.


Related Links:

How Somalia's Fishermen Became Pirates

Somali pirates not due to weak government

Somali pirates living the high life



Should Lovelle Mixon Have Been Out On Parole?

Even as they grapple with budget cuts, California state leaders will surely be compelled to strengthen parole laws and not reduce corrections staff by as much as originally expected because of four police officers shot dead by a man on parole. Lovelle Mixon had been incarcerated on weapons charges and was stopped Saturday for a routine traffic violation.

The intense desperation that would drive a person to such murder and mayhem is all so unbelievably tragic. It's understood that being a cop is dangerous but for all four to be shot because of one situation is unimaginable.

With the drama Bay Area police have to deal with because of the Oscar Grant shooting, it must be difficult for the community to deal with this situation also. My heart goes out to all of the families left to pick up the pieces after this latest devastation.

The officers killed were: Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40; Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43; and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35 and Officer John Hege.

Mixon is reported to have an extensive criminal record. One can only wonder whether perceived liberal incarceration laws could have prevented this tragedy. Legislators will find it difficult to oppose measures that could have prevented this tragedy.


© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!, www.vanessabyers.net

 


New York Post Chimpanzee Editorial Cartoon: Still Looking for the Humor

Sharpton-lee The furor over the New York Post chimpanzee editorial cartoon is far from over for me. You see, I was immediately angered by it for several reasons; its racist connotation being one of them.

I observed executives from the Post attempt to deflect the backlash from the cartoon to protest leader, Rev. Al Sharpton. I don’t always agree with the Reverend but that was just wrong on their part. I also heard their so-called apology and learned of the company’s internal turmoil because of the cartoon.

I tried to understand the perspective of folks, even blacks, who thought the cartoon wasn’t as bad as the publicity that exploded around it. I still wasn’t able to make that stretch. I really tired objectivity but it is what it is.

You know, even if you don’t think the cartoon was racist, there was no humor to be made of a woman tragically disfigured by a chimpanzee and the death of that chimpanzee. There was no humor in two police officers shooting an animal. Was the animal a representation of President Obama? Perhaps it was supposed represent Nancy Pelosi or even Congress. It's just wrong.

There have been calls for the firing of the Post’s editor. I support that unequivocally. I also support the demand for a real public apology from the New York Post.

It was pointed out that President Obama and New York Gov. Paterson did not make a big deal of the situation. Gov. Paterson accepted the Post’s apology. Well, my response to that is, “Did you expect them to go Eric Holder and say what they really feel? I think not.”

This situation could be over quickly. The Post’s lame attempt at an apology is far more acquiescence than they’ve offered in the past. I do hope the NAACP and other civil rights organizations will not cave under the pressure.

Rev. Sharpton’s spotlight on the media influence is an issue that definitely deserves more coverage but by which media outlet since he owns so many.

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© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!, www.vanessabyers.net

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