Saturday, July 01, 2006

Follow Up
Former Jailer takes Plea Bargain

Recently I posted about using my cell phone to make positive ID on 2 former jailers who are now defendants in the death of an inmate in the Davidson County, NC jail. I had their pictures sent to my cell phone so that I could get the appropriate video for the story of them walking in and out of the courthouse.

My original post drew nasty comments from a woman who I am guessing is a family member including jabs like, "you vultures just want to shove a camera in their faces & put them on public display as if they are the criminals." and "I should have tried to run one of you idiots over instead. How's THAT for a news story?!?"

On one hand the writer of those comments was upset about us not getting the defendants' sides of the story(they refused to talk), on the other hand she wanted the story to just go away(not gonna happen in a high profile case like this).

I knew this story would play out over time and we'd get the official version of what happened in the jail that night that Carlos Claros Castros was killed. I was right that we would have to wait until the defendants' days in court. That day was today for one of the former jailers charged with 2nd degree murder.

Brandon Huie pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of Involuntary Manslaughter and was sentenced to 16 to 20 months in prison.

But for us news vultures, I mean, crews at the courthouse today it was Huie's grand entrance with his family that was the most interesting. <----click there for video!


BeFrank said...

Happy 4th. Anybody working today?

Anonymous said...

For god's sake, get a life! You act like it's such a big accomplishment to get footage of a person walking into the courthouse...big whoop-de-doo! You have no idea what this family has been going through, and you don't even have the human decency to leave us alone. We have a right to privacy, but even after repeatedly stating "No comment" (which means leave us the hell alone), you continue to hound us with your microphones & dance around like monkeys with your cameras. What a circus act the media has become! As another person said, you idiots take the bare minimum of information that you can get your hands on, then proceed to twist it around and churn out your story as a gross mis-representation of the truth just so you have some little tidbit to put on the air. Why wouldn't Mr.Huie's family speak to the reporters?? Because you have already turned this story into a media sensation, and who knows how you would have twisted our comments around? You have already made it out as if Mr.Castro was the only victim here, and I seriously do not believe there would have been any "fair reporting" of the officers' side of what happened. It was stated in court that the inmate was beligerent and had to be placed in restraints, that he took off all of his clothes for whatever reason (he was CRAZY!), and that he decided to urinate on the floor in his cell...which lead to the whole mop scenario. Does this sound like a normal, reasonable person? NO! Once he got hold of the mop, he broke it into sharp pieces to use as a WEAPON to harm who knows who? His cell mate? HE had to be moved to another location because Castro was so out-of-control! To harm himself? I wish he had!! To harm the officers? He tried to!! How can you people just try to sweep these basic facts under the rug and portray Castro as the "Poor Model Inmate"? He was a raving lunatic who was not even legal in our country in the first place! A viscous struggle ensued, with the officers sustaining plenty of injuries was even stated at one point that Officer Huie seemed to be losing to Castro...and the end result was a loss of life. If the inmate had responded appropriately in the first place, none of this would have happened. In my opinion, it's his own stupid fault that he died!! Had he acted like he had some sense and just returned the freakin' mop, it would have been a normal night at the jail...but no, he went nuts and look what happened. Yes, I feel badly for his family and their loss...but they do not seem to be laying any responsibility on Castro! And why is that? Because they have the damn media on their side, making it sound as if the two jailers just entered Castro's cell and beat the hell out of him for no reason. Mr.Huie decided to take the plea bargain and face a max of 20 months jail time versus trying to get a fair trial and risk 20-some YEARS in prison to be decided by a jury that has already been brain-washed by the media's one-sided coverage of this story. Is he truly guilty? NO! Nor is Parker! But these two men have been put in the headlines, their families have been put through hell, and their careers have been ended because the media has decided to take the side of an illegal alien who went berserk while in custody. How can you face yourself in the mirror...?

Anonymous said...

Go to this website for a more in-depth look at what the inmate was up to that night...he was abviously crazy and off the deep end!

Anonymous said...

If a statement is made to a reporter with a camera and a mic, how can this statement be true? "then proceed to twist it around and churn out your story as a gross mis-representation of the truth.

Next: "Why wouldn't Mr.Huie's family speak to the reporters?? Because you have already turned this story into a media sensation, and who knows how you would have twisted our comments around? "

If it was my family, I would hope they would stop, and in a civil manor defend me to the public.

"We have a right to privacy"
In your home and on your property yes, on public property, not really. You dont bath in the town fountain do you?

If this were to happen to my best friend who is a CO at a prision (not a jail), I will be glad to defend her in front of the Fox cameras.

Anonymous said...

Actually, we have been advised by Mr.Huie's legal counsel NOT to address the media, as this case SHOULD HAVE been tried in a court of law, not on the evening news. Believe me, it has taken every ounce of restraint not to speak to anyone who will listen that these men are innocent and simply acting in self-defense. What makes me the angriest it that the news reporters act all-knowing about the case when the truly only have one side of it. And they make it sound like it's a big cover-up when Mr.Huie won't speak to them...they're just mad because they are not "making air." And while yes, we were on public property, this is still a PRIVATE would you REALLY feel if something like this happened to your family and the reporters just wanted to shove their cameras and mics at you, just trying to get a piece of meat for their story?? That is all they care about is getting the story out first. They don't give a rat's ass about Mr.Huie, Mr.Parker, or Mr.Castro for that matter! And why the hell does ANY of this need to be public information in the first place?? That's what I don't understand...why does it matter to anyone but the families of those involved? I can't even stand to turn on the news anymore because of all the tragedy going on, and all these spotlight-hungry news jerk-offs just want to find the nearest victim, get them on TV, and pry into their personal hell. They have no human decency or ethics. THAT is why we won't speak to the media!!!

Widescreen said...

This is from my own blog....

I had ideas for a blog and in the process was distracted as I sat and wrote it. Never mind I will save it for another day. What I was distracted by was a blog by a fellow camera operator in the United States.

He was covering a court case for his network about two former detention officers who were charged with 2nd degree murder and later pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the inmate’s death. I am slightly unfamiliar with the case evidently and far from it, so should I get any details incorrect, I make an apology as it is not intended.

TVPhotoblog was referring to the fact that the family had given the media a tongue lashing, via his blog, about the way the media had reported the story and how the family of the defendant had felt harassed by the congregating media outside the court building.

Court cases are part of the daily News grind. No one particularly enjoys covering them, both from a reporter’s viewpoint and particularly from a cameraman’s. Here in Australia, it is not permitted to film inside Court, so apart from vision from the day of the event; our only other opportunities are outside Court. This makes sometimes for a fairly ugly scenario. Think about it, one Court entrance, one sidewalk, one defendant and maybe a partner or family. Added to this recipe for disaster are maybe five camera crews, reporters and still photographers, all trying to get the same thing!

The public has a right to privacy and they have a right to say “no”. However, we often ignore those basic rights and by pure association alone, cast a shadow of guilt over those family members who have to run the gauntlet of media scrums on the pavement. Whether the accused is guilty or not, does it give us the right to hound families outside and shove a camera in their face? Does being a member of the media make it okay to do so? Is the family of the accused not a victim as well?

In his blog, media were accused of dancing around like monkeys to get the vision. Well, to be honest, she is right. Since when does the media scrum work in a controlled and courteous manner that is respectful to those families? It does not. I too am just as guilty of chasing people down the street to get the shots. I don’t like it, but its part of the system, that probably warrants change, but seems to be void of an alternative. Unfortunately that void is generated by a News bulletin and ratings.

A few years back, we had a soundrecordist, who is also a good friend, who’s brother was on charges of manslaughter. It was an extremely difficult time for the whole family. There was no disputing the event or the evidence, and without a doubt the loss of a life. My friend spent every day in court, supporting his brother, until he was finally found guilty and sentenced to serve time in prison.. He told me later, how different it was on the ‘other side of the fence’. How each day, the media would be waiting like a pack of hungry hyenas and would incessantly ask questions despite repeatedly saying, ‘no comment’ and requests to be left alone.

He was amazed how reporters could write a story when they had not always been in court to hear all the details. He was shocked how details were omitted or altered and sometimes simply made up. It changed his whole outlook on how the media treats stories and can manipulate and manufacture evidence and in some cases, sway public opinion. There are supposed to be authorities who monitor and control these things but very often they slip well under the radar and the families, often on both sides, are left wondering and in some cases, left to pick up the pieces. By this stage, the media, like a pride of hungry lions, has killed, fed and moved on to greener hunting grounds.

There is no easy solution. Personally I would prefer it was illegal to film anyone associated with Court proceedings. That way all concerned would be able to get on with getting resolutions and conclusions in what could be none other than extremely distressing times.

Was TVPhotog wrong? No, he was doing his job. Do we agree with it? No. But we can agree to disagree on many things. Life is not perfect, if it was then many people would not be in the Court system to begin with and this blog would be irrelevant. The TV media are not alone in this. Print media and radio shock jocks have as much a role to play here. Unfortunately, most people seem to get their daily diet of News from the 6pm bulletin. If it was food then surely it would be diet, because there is no way you can fully tell a story that is both factual, informative and balanced in 1min 30 sec. But then News is really only to keep you up to date with a rundown of the day’s events.

This is not about getting into TVPhotog; I do the same on the other side of the world to him. But his angry responses to his blog are justified to some degree. What we do is not always fun and games and people forget how much influence the reporters and a camera can be. If bloggers want to write about these types of events, then you have to expect some rebuttal, and as media we also should accept some responsibility for our actions and not hide behind the media veil of ambiguity.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!! FINALLY, someone who understands where I am coming from!