Sunday, July 19, 2015

Editorial: JFP owes JPD an apology.

It has been six months since the deaths of Carolyn Temple and drug-dealing rapper Chris Summers.  One murdered in cold-blood, the other killed in self-defense as he was about to murder someone.  The Jackson Free Press smeared JPD as well as the local media for not giving equal coverage to the Chris Summers death and of course blamed it all on racism.  The JFP has had six months to get the story right but apparently the per-conceived narrative is more important than the facts of the case.  Lest you forget, here is what appeared on the pages of the weekly newspaper:

In response to Jackson's first high-profile homicide in Belhaven, neighbors in the historic community turned out in force to a community meeting Thursday night to talk about action.

The standing-room-only meeting took place at Belhaven University's Barber Auditorium and drew attendance from neighbors and public officials alike to quell concerns over the shooting death of Carolyn Temple, who was shot outside her Euclid Street home on Jan. 7....

Police suspect the group is involved in or has connections to Temple's death, along with five female and at least two male victims of recent crimes. That includes 34-year-old Christopher Summers, father of a cast member on the reality show "Bring It." Summers was shot and killed early the morning of Jan. 15 at a convenience store on Terry Road in south Jackson. (KF note: JPD did not consider these guys to be a suspects in his death as they had the security camera video of the shooting within 12 hours of the incident.)

In response to Jackson's first high-profile homicide in Belhaven, neighbors in the historic community turned out in force to a community meeting Thursday night to talk about action.

The reaction to the death of Summers, who is black, stands in stark contrast to that of Temple, a white woman, who has been the subject of numerous media stories and a social-media blitz by many media outlets. An Internet search of Summers' name Friday morning produced two results, both from local television stations... Rest of article.

Time to take some time out from blaming everyone but Summers and report the actual facts.  JJ spoke to JPD and was allowed to see the video of the entire incident at the Laxmi.  JJ reported on January 23:

 A store security camera video shows a suspect in the death of Chris Summers shot him after Summers walked towards him while brandishing a handgun.  JPD allowed JJ and WAPT to watch video of the shooting.  JPD allowed us to take notes but would not provide a copy of the video as there is an investigation into the death of Summers.  Summers is the father of a girl who is a star on an ABC TV reality show.
The video shows a red sedan pulling up to the gas pumps at the Laxmi Convenience Store on Terry Road at 4:00 AM. No other cars are present.  A passenger gets out and goes to the store.  The red car leaves.  A silver Mercury Grand Marquis pulls up to the center of the pumps (between pumps 2 and 3) at 4:05 AM.  A small "vent" window in the rear of the passenger's side of the vehicle is broken out. The rest of the windows are tinted.  The Mercury then leaves.
The red sedan* returns at 4:06 AM and parks at pump 1.  It should be noted that no one ever attempts to pump any gas into a car at any time.  A passenger gets out and walks towards the store.  He tucks a handgun into his waistband as he walks to the store. The Mercury returns five seconds after the red sedan parks at pump 1.   It is clear these two cars have been playing cat and mouse.  The Mercury pulls up and stops in front of the sedan (perpendicular to the pump and sedan).

Three black men get out of the Mercury and approach the red sedan at 4:07 AM.  Summers got out of the front seat on the passenger's side of the car.   Summers brandishes a handgun as he walks to the car. It is clear from his gait, manner, and the position of the handgun that he means business.  The driver of the red sedan is partially shielded by the door.  He immediately pulls a gun out of the car and starts shooting at Summers, striking him apparently in the abdomen.   Summers falls down and lies facing up to the sky, writhing in agony as his life slowly ebbs away.  Two men flee and the other jumps intoo the Mercury and quickly leaves the gas station.  The red sedan left as well.   Everything is over by 4:09 AM.  Earlier post.

JJ also reported that Summers was convicted twice of dealing cocaine and was indicted yet again in 2013 for drug dealing.  He was awaiting trial when he died. Earlielr post. 

However, the JFP never published the additional information about the death of Chris Summers nor did it apologize to JPD.  If anything, the JFP was just getting cranked up on the theme that the media and police in Jackson are racist.  The JFP also published this editorial: Why Newsrooms Need Leaders" on January 21: 

The Clarion-Ledger has produced at least a dozen stories about the case of Carolyn Temple since Jan. 7, the day the news broke that Temple had been attacked, pistol whipped and shot picking up a neighbor's garbage can at her boyfriend's home in the Belhaven neighborhood.....

In a lot of ways, Mississippi's statewide newspaper led on coverage of the Temple case, which spurred stories on Jackson's TV news stations. The coverage provided springboards for social-media conversations on platforms including NextDoor, Facebook and in the comment sections of the news organizations themselves. As a result, Belhaven neighbors held a community meeting, and now people are starting to talk about solutions for crime prevention.

Ordinarily, applause might be in order for that level of prolific crime reporting in an age where the business of news media continues to adjust to changes in the industry. But a quick analysis of local media headlines suggest that we could hold off on those kudos.

Meanwhile, there's hardly been a whisper about another Jackson homicide, that of 34-year-old Christopher Summers. At last check, Summers' death was the subject of just a handful of short news blurbs, including a six-line piece from The Clarion-Ledger that gave the quick-and-dirty details of the shooting—no quotes from loved ones or even a photograph of the victim, who was the father of a star of the hit reality show "Bring It."

The TV media, who also still largely practice journalism according to the dictum "If it bleeds, it leads," weren't much better. Only a couple of stories showed up on local broadcast television.

The contrasts between how news organizations reported the two homicides could be used as a journalism-school lesson on media bias. Temple was white, wealthy and killed in Belhaven. Summers, a musician who rapped under the moniker Battlefield Gucci, a reference to Battlefield Park, was gunned down in south Jackson. And the perpetrators may be part of the same group, police say. (KF: This last sentence is not true and the police told they never considered him to be shot by the same group as they had the video.) 

But who's to blame for this prejudice? As a general rule, reporters left to their own devices will likely gravitate toward their interests and what is familiar and comfortable to them. That's what editors and newsroom managers are for, and good ones in Jackson are in short supply. It's a news manager's job to challenge journalists—that includes the reporters they supervise as well as their fellow managers—to step out of their comfort zones and get to the 5 Ws and the H (who, what when, where, why and how) of and within every story as evenly and with as much context as possible.

Only in a certain mindset is a drug-dealing thug who dies while trying to murder someone the same thing as a nearly 70 year-old grandmother who was murdered in cold blood while picking up the garbage cans in the driveway.   If the "reporters" at the weekly newspaper had bothered to check JPD sources, they would have found out the truth real quickly as the knowledge of how Summers died was pretty widespread throughout JPD.  Asking for information.  What a concept.  JJ and WAPT were able to see the video because we simply asked for permission to do so.  However, such facts seemed to be lost on the commentors and of course, JFP publisher Donna Ladd herself:

apollo Thursday, January 22, 2015 2:32 PM 6 months ago  You know Christopher Summers was a drug dealer, right? A simple check with Hinds County police dept will tell you that. A Hinds County grand jury indicted Summers for selling cocaine on May 22, 1999 and in 2004. Why should we care about him?

Donna Ladd Moderator I've known plenty of people who dealt drugs at some point in their lives who turned their lives around and are amazing people (and plenty of folks who buy illicit drugs from them while parading around bashing drug dealers in social media). You probably do, too. Every murder is equally tragic, and everyone offers lessons about humanity. Meantime, no victim is perfect, either. The point is that every murder deserves equal attention, if for no other reason than to prevent it in the future. And it's not like we're making up the problem of institutional racism in media outlets that focuses on white victims and black criminals more and in different ways than the opposite. There are piles of academic and criminal-justice studies out there to show the harm in it. Allow your mind to widen a bit to consider the harm it actually causes.

Um, it wasn't a murder but again, facts are lost on certain people who are more concerned with making everything fit a certain narrative and a reason for existence.  This wan't a guy who was trying to turn his life around but a grown man in his thirties who fully embraced the "gangsta" lifestyle as seen in the numerous videos of his music and death.  However,  Madame DeLadd did not stop with comments but just had to write a follow-up column making sure everyone got her point.  She praised R.L. Knave's reporting on the matter as "brilliant" even though he got basic facts wrong.

The truth is there were a group of dangerous thugs who were on a crime spree a la Natural Born Killers in the Jackson metro area.  The murder of Ms. Temple was not simply a murder or a robbery gone bad.  There were videos of them in action. Victims gave interviews.  Nextdoor blew up with updates.   The real story is there was a group of teen thugs (and yes, they were thugs) who were on the loose.  They were not racist. They did not discriminate.  They were truly equal opportunity savages.  They beat the hell out of a black woman who was delivering newspapers.  The media interviewed the black victim. They shot several times at a black man as they tried to carjack him.  The media interviewed the black victim. They carjacked more men and women.  They robbed and killed an elderly white woman.   They hit South Jackson, Ridgeland, Yazoo City, and Belhaven.

They graduated from house burglaries to carjacking to murder.  THAT is why the story dominated the media for several days.  These animals were violent and on the prowl and make no mistake, they are animals.  It was clear their rampage would continue until they were caught or killed.  This website then broke the story about their participation in the Hinds County catch and release program as they were free on very low bonds. To paraphrase an earlier post on this site: the JFP shows no outrage or concern over the bonds.  It shows no outrage over the catch and release program. It does show outrage over the outrage.

JPD officers and commanders wore themselves out tracking down and catching the alleged killers and shooters.  They were motivated and determined to catch these thugs and catch them they did.  They deserve better treatment than being accused of favoring the Carolyn Temple murder over the death of Chris Summers.  Jackson Jambalay has gotten it wrong before and has apologized for doing so.  Best practices are best practices and the JFP publisher is no stranger to lecturing the rest of the media on that subject.  The Jackson Free Press owes the JPD, Chief Vance, and the local media an apology. And that my friends, is the bottom line. 

*The red sedan was like the the 700 series BMW used in Summers' rap videos. 


Anonymous said...

Donner uses the term "Our Black People" are there black people in her family? Does she date black people? Do black people live in her house?

Anonymous said...

Very well written and informative JJ. While I don't agree with all that is posted on this site, this is one of the better reads.

Ladd is a hack. She is not a journalist, as much as she dreams that she is. She surrounds herself with small-minded, impressionable people that have little to no experience or talent. As simple look into the "credentials" of her staff reveal little true journalistic training and shady off-shore degrees. Her publication is deviceive and should not to be considered a source of true news (not that the CL should be either). I would love to sit in on one of her "writing classes". I'm sure it would be hours and hours of laughs.

At the end of the day people look at the JPF to see if any bands are playing in town and to have free newspapers for home projects and cleanup. I know I grab a stack from time to time to put in my workspace to clean my pistols on. Nobody takes JFD, Donna Lard, or anyone associated with that publication with any seriousness. JFP is written by a bunch of malcontents who are going nowhere.

Anonymous said...

It's just not fair! Not fairly matched at all. She's Donner K and well, he's THE KINGFISH!

Anonymous said...

3:29, Donner K, much like Rachel Dolezal,rejects being " white". I would assume this is a defense to some perception they were rejected by " whites"."Racial identity disorder" is not on the books yet but it's being pegged as a psychological disorder.If it is possible for a person to be transgender, is there such a thing as being "transracial," too?

Donner K's problems may be the result of trauma or of Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder). “Dissociative Identity Disorder is a severe form of dissociation where a lack of connection exists in a person’s thoughts, feelings, memories, actions, or sense of identity.” It's crystal clear the poor woman has some major "problems".

Anonymous said...


Will you stop worrying about the JFP. It's so 2007. They haven't been relevant since that decade. You keep them relevant by continuing to bring them up.

Anonymous said...

Its totally cool to be liberal, a Democrat, but it appears that Donna Ladd and people at the JFP are liberal just because they want to be different than stereotypical Mississippians.

If Ladd taught at Whitten Middle School where the three main kids in the January crime spree went to middle school (or most other secondary schools in JPS for that matter) she would probably either often leave school totally distraught or change her views on society.

I don't know Ladd personally but I get the vibe that she thinks she is one of smartest and most important people in town. Not like the metro area isn't home to UMC doctors and Millsaps professors, or home to police officers, nurses, teachers, etc.

Anonymous said...

Is the Jackson Free Press even still around?

Anonymous said...

Believe it is still around. Saw it stuffed between old magazines in an over crowded clinic waiting room. I quickly found another clinic that doesn't herd patients (with no other place to go) in like cattle. Everyone is entitled to speak their mind and if JFP chooses to promote black power and preach ideas that brainwash residents into thinking their peers really give a darn about them...because they understand their struggles, so be it. They will continue to struggle as long as they feel it's okay to have children out of wedlock (at any age) and expect to receive cheap housing and free food to carry them through.

Forty Five Feet Tall in Brandon said...

I've seen nothing here about the fact that Jackson Free Press published the locations of all Confederate Monuments in the tri county area? What was the purpose? Where did the list come from? Is the publisher inciting a riot? Is she just being informative? Is she stoking the shit fires?

Anonymous said...

Jackson Free Press published the locations of all Confederate Monuments in the tri county area? What was the purpose?

To encourage locals to deface them. Ladd will do anything to foment race based lawlessness. Her ego desperately need a race crisis in Jackson and the surrounding area.

Anonymous said...

I'm a white, left-of-center democrat and find the JFP to be the product of a extreme left wing nutcase. It's publications like this that give moderate democrats a bad reputation and plenty of ammo for people on the conservative side of politics.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 6:55 am, both sides like to find the crazies in their opposition and pass them off as poster kids for the other party.

It's what passes as political dialogue today.

Sadly, since we can't help crazy people anymore until they hurt themselves or others, some crazies actually run for office and get elected when they need to be in Whitfield getting on the right dosage of meds.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, the deranged like Donna Ladd lack the capacity to apologize. Even if she recognized the mistake of equating Ms. Temple's murder with the facts surrounding what happened to the Battlefield Gucci, Donna Ladd is inextricably attached to her self-hyped and unalterable narrative as the near-omnipotent -- though wrongfully bullied and unacknowledged -- new Dean of Mississippi journalism and political/cultural commentary. The near-omnipotent don't see any need to apologize and certainly not to anyone or any institution below their own level of greatness.

You are right to hold her accountable for not circling back to correct the record on her serious mistakes in the Temple vs Gucci fictive she fabricated out of thin air. She's had plenty of time. But you're also asking this of the same person (no less than the CEO) who can't bring herself to admit that Jackson Jambalaya is a viable business and worthy online competitor in the Jackson metro and statewide. (Except, of course, when you ran for office then she acknowledged your existence for the purposes of lecturing you!)

Agree with point above. DonnerKay is quick to announce that she's spotted smoke, even where none exists, in the hopes of starting a fire. Like an arsonist she wants Mississippi to burn again in her dream of placing herself into the middle of the conflagration and market her position to the national press corps as that of visionary white voice of reason to be heard on matters of race.

Donna Ladd should apologize to JPD and to her readers but the fact that she won't provides the greatest illumination to the community and Mississippi as to the level of journalistic integrity that should expected from the Jackson Free Press.

Kingfish said...

I can assure you JPD was pretty steamed about those article and columns. Why do you think they let WAPT and JJ see the video?

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to Adam Lynch? He was the last good reporter they had.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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