Sun, Jun

Is Inglewood Mayor Censoring Citizens’ Blogs?


INSIDE INGLEWOOD - A blog that closely covers politics and related events in Inglewood and Compton took down two posts on Tuesday containing video footage that shows bizarre and possibly illegal behavior of Inglewood's mayor, James T. Butts. The posts were deleted the same day that a post with a response from the mayor on a separate topic was published.

The blog, 2UrbanGirls, published one of the stories under the title, "Inglewood Mayor gets heckled at Candidates Debate." It featured a link to a video of the mayor being thrown out of a scheduled debate featuring his candidate, George Dotson. Dotson did not show up but his campaign manager, Oliver Unaka, and assistant, Alicia Smith, showed up. 

Unaka disrupted the discussion and was ejected. The mayor came into the building afterward and was also ejected after he tried to peddle videos festooned with his campaign disclaimer and which were illegally paid for through Inglewood city funds.

The second and most recent story, "Inglewood have you seen this video," featured a link to a video of an Inglewood Block Club Captains meeting during which the mayor slandered the publisher of the newspaper Morningside Park Chronicle (of which I am the editor-in-chief) and then refused to answer residents' questions regarding the firing of a veteran employee. The mayor abruptly walked out of the meeting instead of answering questions.

Both videos were not so much critical of the mayor as indicative of the mayor's bizarre behavior. The stories on 2UrbanGirls contained a number of lengthy responses from Charles Jackson, a paid operative of Butts, posted pages of insults and slander on anyone critical of his financial benefactor. The responses had been posted as long as four months ago and did not appear to be the reason the stories were abruptly deleted.

The mayor's sudden appearance on the blog and the deletion of the two posts critical of his behavior took place simultaneously. Comments by the mayor imply he has reached out in an extraordinary fashion to anyone critical of his behavior, often during the time he should be attending city business while at city hall.

The mayor is formally known for his attempts to thwart Constitutional rights.

In the 2000 case, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice v Butts, the former Inglewood cop was vehemently denied his attempt to dispose of Miranda rights altogether and violate the 5th Amendment by doing so. 

On page 490 of the December 2002 edition of the Yale Law Review (volume 112), it is stated that "The defendant police departments and officers conceded the existence of both the training materials and the policy of deliberately violating the Miranda rules. The policy was designed to obtain statements that, although inadmissible in the prosecution’s case-in-chief, could be used to impeach suspects who chose to testify in their criminal cases." 

(Click here for the case quoted and here to see the summary article.)

Neither the mayor nor 2UrbanGirls' moderator, Melissa Herbert returned requests for comment by press time. 

(Randall Fleming is a veteran journalist and magazine publisher. He has worked at and for the New York Post, the Brooklyn Spectator and the Los Feliz Ledger. He is currently editor-in-chief at the Morningside Park Chronicle, a monthly newspaper based in Inglewood, CA and on-line at www.MorningsideParkChronicle.com. Views expressed and/or conclusions reached by Mr. Fleming are his and do not necessarily reflect those of CityWatch.)






Vol 11 Issue 72

Pub: Sept 6, 2013

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