Freddie Grey..more questions, few answers

So forgive me kind readers…I’m still searching for answers to this case & these events.

Let me review what I have learned so far. The police arrested for Freddie Grey for reasons they haven’t disclosed. Freddie ran from police prior to that. In some peoples minds this shows guilt or suspicion. However, the reality is, it can also show fear. Eith so little information to go on, it would be impossible to draw an informed conclusion. If Baltimore PD is known for being corrupt (*not saying they are*) and Freddie was being pursued for no valid reason (*not saying this is the case*) it’d be reasonable to think he would run. I’m not saying this is the case or that that’s a good idea, but it would be understandable & explain why if he was not being arrested for any wrongdoing. Unfortunately Baltimore PD is not forthcoming with details. In any case where there is an ongoing investigation its procedure not to give away sensitive information but to not give any information when someone has died, when there’s rioting (which clearly shows a population that is angry & distrustful of police, in my opinion) Unfortunately the lack of real information feeds the distrust and discord and fuels speculation. I’m disheartened I cannot find information on this case, There’s rioting, looting, endless news coverage…and few facts. I implore Baltimore PD to be forthcoming & transparent as quickly as they can. Godspeed Baltimore.

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Freddie Gray

I admit, I have failed on keeping up with the news. I don’t get the newspaper and don’t have cable (I find the internet suffices pretty well so long as I find good sources for it). I don’t know much about Freddie Gray but the internet exploded this week with his name. What I have read horrifies me. HORRIFIES me. I’m still trying to gather facts for a complete picture but I have many questions. The police are public servants who do a lot of good & keep communities safe./ I appreciate their presence. That said, not all cops are good cops and even good cops make mistakes. I Want to know what happened to #FreddieGray. I want to know what he was arrested for, why he was needing to be physically restrained, what happened that he got a SPINAL injury. He seemed fine upon entering the police vehicle per witnesses but was unresponsive upon arrival at the police station. WHAT HAPPENED TO FREDDIE GRAY? It would seem if he was in the vehivkle and handcuffed NOTHING should have happened to him. Its possible nothing did but maybe something stress related (a seizure, concussion, who knows). I dont have answers. But I want them. I appeal to Baltimore PD to be open and transparent. If they are in the right, then let the people know. They deserve it.

Bruce Jenner

I am a straight biological female who identifies as female. I majored in Gender Studies in college. I get that there is a spectrum of sexuality and gender identity (not one in the same!) but still, I Feel a lot of sympathy for Bruce Jenner and other trans folks. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to feel trapped in an identity or body you didn’t choose. I cant imagine having that experience and being famous on top of that, to have the world watching and gossiping about you as you explore yourself and change. I give Bruce Jenner big props for not hiding from his experience but being open about it. Whether he has appreciated it or not, he is famous. People do feel they know him (*and he does still use the “he” pronoun). There are so many trans folks hiding or rejected in our modern day society. Trans folks are still being accepted but seem to mostly still be on the outer fringes of LBGT groups as well as society. Much like L, G & B people from bygone eras who had to hide in the shadows and be in the closet or risk ridicule (or worse), trans folks are still working towards being accepted in all areas of society. Unfortunately in movies and media, most people see the more exaggerated transgender or transsexual people (RuPaul, Frank N Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show, drag queens at drag shows) Although these types of trans people certainly exist this is not representative of ALL transgender people and I think it gives mainstream society an unrealistic image of transgender people as these garish freakish looking humans. ANYONE can be transgender. ANYONE can feel they were born in the wrong body. Including a famous biological male athlete with 6 children. I truly hope good things occur from Bruce Jenner’s publicity. I Hope he finds peace.In a year that has seen innnumberable transgender teen suicides and incidents, I hope others like Bruce find peace through him too. PS…I know Kim Kardashian is viewed in many ways as a ditzy or crazy reality star but I give her PROPS in how she articulated her feelings about her stepdad’s transition as well as her support of him. Here is an interview clip I saw this morning online. http://www.nylon.com/articles/kim-kardashian-bruce-jenner-interview-today-show

National Dogfighting Day pt 2

I wrote a short note to the officer that helped bring Vick to justice. I never got a reply but I wanted to let him know his efforts were appreciated. He got flack when he should have got a medal.

“Hello < > I just finished reading an outstanding book by author Jim Gorant about the Michael Vick case. I want to thank you for your work on the case. I have followed the individual stories of various Vick (Vicktory) dogs for awhile via Facebook, but the Gorant book made me realize the depth of horror these digs experienced as well as the effort to move this case forward and get a conviction. Truly words cannot express enough my thanks and if I lived closer I’d buy you a cup of coffee. Thank you again. I so wish I could find (Other officer)  to tell him the same but I’m glad to have the opportunity to thank you. God bless.”
-Bianca

I also had written to the author of The Lost Dogs, Jim Gorant, to let him know the same. I did get a rely from him & that was really cool. “Thanks for the note. I’m glad you liked the book, but sorry the such a story existed to tell.”

I’m sharing cause I think its good to tell people when they have done something yuo appreciate as well. And in the spirit of things, even if you can only write or call someone to help animals today…do it!

National Dogfighting Awareness day

Today is dog fighting awareness day. There are many things I could say on this topic. First & foremost, dog fighting is not okay in any way. It is scary that there are still people in our enlightened world that think nothing of fighting dogs for sport. Dogs are smart, loyal and loving animals. They have feelings and fear just like us.

There are those in the public eye that have showcased their blatant disregard for animal life using their wealth and resources not for good but instead to finance organized crime. Michael Vick would of course be a starring example of this. Although it has been several years since Vick was arrested, charged & deemed guilty….we must not forgot the atrocities he committed. These actions still occur across the country by non-famous people every day. I get that he did his time and  paid restitution but I would not go so far as to say he is a changed man. He got caught. There’s a difference.

There is also much we can learn from his case. Michael Vick is an extreme example but a good one nonetheless. I feel the need to continue speaking out about him because of the level of abuse he committed with his dog fighting ring. This was not a mom and pop shop where a few people brought dogs and sat around drinking beer while dogs tousled. Michal Vick, a “star” football player, a wealthy man who had multiple cars and houses chose to make more money by employing his family and friends into a crime ring. Michael Vick bought the property, built the houses, bought the dogs….all to make a buck and give jobs to people. Evidently as a member of a national football organization he didn’t have resources to give legit jobs (yes I am being sarcastic).

I have to say, when the Vick case first came to light, I was appalled but didnt know many details. I have since gone on to know many of the “Vicktory” dogs through their Facebook pages. I have read “The Lost Dogs” by Jim Gorant, a Sports Illustrated” reporter who caught considerable flack for putting out the truth. I cant encourage enough people to read this book. It is chronological and detailed. It is riveting and horrifying. It also clearly shows Vick knew his actions were wrong and carried out these acts anyways. He was an active participant who not only actively fought dogs …but killed ones that lost. If you look up nothing else, look up the story of the dog only listed as “the little red dog.” She was used for bait and in her fright, ran from the pitbulls that were used to attack her. Was she admired for her bravery? Did anyone show her sympathy and decide she had had enough? NO. NO. NO. Instead Vick and friends picked her up and slammed her onto the ground several times, breaking multiple bones. Next they spun her around each holding one end of the dog like a jump rope, before breaking all of her legs and torturing her further before burying her no the property, hidden away from the compound where all the other dogs were kept. The account and body of the little red dog is what sealed Vick’s fate and contradicted his story that he was unaware of the criminal activity. Vick’s own groundskeeper  who witnessed the death of the little red dog assisted authorities in telling them what happened and locating her body. Folks, there’s no coming back from being that much of a sociopath. I’m sorry but there just isn’t. It is appalling that Vick and others like him aren’t given more severe punishment for animal abuse and killings. Its horrifying that because Vick is a famous athlete almost no one in his hometown–who should have been horrified at the level of crime Vick brought to the community–instead wanted to show support for a”a star athlete” and “role model.” There are role models everywhere …doctors, lawyers, ministers…surely the town of Newport News isn’t so hard up for role models that the only ones they can think of  are hardened criminals?

Its sad because like so many others Vick chose to stereotype pit bulls by choosing them to fight. Pit bulls by nature are pack animals. They are loyal and loving. They don’t want to fight each other. What they want, is to be loyal to their owner and please them. Its heartbreaking to think  of trash like VIck capitalizing on this nature. Its even more heartbreaking to realize just how many people tried to push this under the radar so that a “hero” wouldn’t be caught. Vick himself, upon being convicted and ordered to pay restitution chose to disregard the court order. He bought more houses, cars and vacations. He tried to go about life and ignore the consequences that were handed down to him….until his assets were frozen and he was forced to pay up. No, this is not a hero. This is not a changed man. He may be free but society needs to hold him and others like him accountable every day to ensure that trash like him aren’t tempted to repeat their heinous acts….and ensure others holding him up as a “role model” aren’t tempted to do the same.

Props, kudos & Commendations to  Jim Gorant (author of “The Lost Dogs” ), Jim Knorr, a federal agent instrumental in seeking justice for Vick’s dogs and seeing him brought to justice, BAD RAP a rescue in the Bay Area that took several “Vicktory” dogs, Hector’s parents, Handsome Dans parents and so many others who adopted these dogs and gave them love and  helped their lives end better than they started.

Link to a bill being introduced in W.V. to destigmatize dog foghting victims…show support for this so other states will be encouraged

http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText15/SenateText15/S0347.pdf

Some of the Facebook pages of Victory dogs, many of whom went on to become therapy and service dogs As Hector the Pitbulls page said on his last day here on Earth “in the end, I won the game.”

:https://www.facebook.com/handsomedan10?fref=ts
https://www.facebook.com/HectorThePitBull?fref=ts

http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/michael-vicks-lost-dogs

https://www.facebook.com/notes/handsome-dan/goodbye-hector/849073758460024