Early Sunday, May 20th, a Texas DPS Trooper pulled a woman over (I won't be using her name because she's not a public figure) on suspicion of DUI. The
end result of that traffic stop was the woman being arrested and booked for DUI.
At some point after her arrest, either the woman or somebody in her family contacted Lee Merritt, a fairly prominent civil rights attorney, and
retained him after alleging that the woman's civil rights had been violated during the traffic stop and arrest. In a released statement, Merritt was
careful to use the words "alleged" and "alleges" and others of a similar nature as he described what the woman claimed happened during her traffic
Merritt stated that the woman alleged that the Trooper conducted her stop made multiple attempts at coercing her into trading sexual favors for being
let go, and that when those attempts failed the Trooper sexually assaulted her both inside and outside of his cruiser. Furthermore, the statement
alleged that active steps were taken by the Trooper to obscure events from both the body worn camera and the cruiser's dash-cam. The woman was booked
for DUI and at some point was bonded out of jail, at which time she went to a hospital to seek treatment for her alleged assault. Once Texas DPS
learned of the allegations, they immediately began an investigation.
Early story of the
The story was picked up by one of America's favorite race-baiters, Shaun King. King immediately hit The Big Red Button and blew the story up, claiming
in a now-deleted Facebook post that the above allegations were actually the facts
of the incident and generally whipping his followers into a
frenzy. Texas DPS announced that they had reviewed camera footage of the entire incident and found no evidence to support any of the claims, and that
it had all been sent to the prosecutor's office for further review. DPS stated that once the prosecutor completed their review, if they (the
prosecutor) did not object, DPS would release the video of the incident.
Undeterred by this development, King's followers set about doxxing the Trooper involved in the incident and posting his home address, phone numbers of
him and his family members, etc. online. King's Facebook page, where he initially posted his story, turned into an even bigger cesspool than normal,
with numerous death threats being posted on the page as well as sent directly to the now doxxed Trooper. Not only that Trooper (and his family),
though, but another Trooper who happens to share the same name was doxxed as well. He and his family also had their information posted and received
Yesterday, the BWC was released. All two hours of it.
Texas DPS stated that the video showed
absolutely no evidence to support any one of the allegations made, let alone any evidence to corroborate the entire story. Full credit where it's
Merritt immediately reviewed the video and released a statement apologizing for his part in "amplifying these claims." He also apologized for
any trouble that had come to the Troopers involved, and flatly agreed that the video showed a) no evidence of tampering and b) no evidence to support
what he had been told by the woman. He goes on to categorize the false allegations as "abuse" of his office's time and effort. Merritt has stepped up
bigly, as not only did he issue the apology but has not taken down his initial statement from his website. To me that speaks volumes about him, in
that he's not trying to hide from this mistake.
King, on the other hand, has not only deleted his posts about the allegations but has since refused to address the BWC footage in any way. Both his
Facebook and Twitter page show plenty of recent activity, and more than one person calling him out for his participation in the incident but so far
not one peep out of him.
Updated story with Merritt's statement.
At some point folks like King need to wrap their brains around something: whatever your movement is, when you fabricate events or participate in
spreading fabrications of events, you do a disservice to the entire movement. And should you find yourself the victim of helping somebody push their
fabrication, stepping up and owning it goes (and looks) a hell of a lot better than trying to pretend you were never involved to begin with.
edit on 23-5-2018 by Shamrock6 because: (no reason given)