WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?
Where is the outrage over the Raymond Hicks ordeal? Hicks is a former deputy with the Broward Sheriff’s Office who, by all appearances, was wrongly prosecuted and forced to sit behind bars in a federal prison for 15 months while he awaited trial. After a four-year investigation, a year in prison and a 30-day trial, he was acquitted within minutes. In the meantime, Hicks lost his job; the family nearly lost its home to foreclosure and worse. Hicks is suing BSO, and rightly so. So, why are taxpayers bankrolling lawyers to defend this case, instead of working to resolve it? BSO is full of problems, and Sheriff Al Lamberti has his work cut out for him. He should make the Hicks matter a priority.
Is this the case of a granny trying to get her geriatric groove back, or just another sickening incident of a teacher having sex with a student? This time, it is a 60-year-old woman named Adrienne Laflamme, who has been arrested after allegedly carrying on a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy. At least one of the encounters included a threesome with the 15-year-old and a 14-year-old boy. Palm Bay police in Brevard County arrested Laflamme, who is a science teacher at the Brevard County Juvenile Detention Center, of all places, and charged her with 15 counts of unlawful sex with minors and filing a false police report. She allowed the child to use her car, and then reported it stolen after she was tipped off about the investigation. Laflamme is a 22-year veteran teacher in the Brevard County School system who has received good work evaluations. Her bail was set at $225,000, which she posted and is awaiting trial. She is on leave with pay from her teaching job, pending the outcome of the case. In the meantime, there is no confirmation that some of the evidence includes bite marks from her false teeth on the neck of one of the boys.
Sen. Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, could not steal the presumed Democratic presidential nomination from Sen. Barack Obama, but they have still managed to pick his political pockets. Clinton spent millions on her campaign, some of which was used for race baiting and to besmirch Obama’s reputation. Now, in exchange for their support, they have completed a successful shakedown of Obama, in which his campaign will have to help pay off those debts.
ONE YEAR LATER
A year has passed since this publication broke the story about the arrest of Gary Troutman, 46, in the now 22-year-old murder case of Angela Savage. It was a brutal and senseless killing of the Deerfield Beach 24-year-old mother of two in 1986. On this solemn anniversary, Troutman has yet to stand trial, and the investigation continues.
During this Fourth of July holiday, patriotism in America is running at a fever pitch, but so is growing concern about the state of our military. Under President G.W. Bush, our military remains strong despite this administration’s raw incompetence and misguided policies. More than we like to admit, young blacks are increasingly saying “no’’ to military service, and this is regrettable. Some of this reluctance can be attributed to cases like that of 1999 [Pompano Beach] Blanche Ely High School graduate Gem McCreary. He enlisted in the Army to fly, and is trained as a pilot with the Apache Longbow attack helicopters. He is the only black person in his unit and has pleaded to see action in Afghanistan or Iraq, only to be ignored. Instead, by the time this is published, he may have already been shipped out to Iraq, not as a pilot, but as a trainer of Iraqi ground troops. His father, Jewel McCreary, said his son represents what is happening to many blacks in the military’s secret “internal draft.’’ As increasing numbers of military personnel are refusing to re-enlist, McCreary alleges, highly trained blacks are being ordered to serve in lower positions than those in which they are trained. McCreary has been contacting elected officials in an effort to get Congress to hold hearings on the military’s internal draft.
ON THE RUN
Román Rengifo, 31, believed his girlfriend was cheating on him, so he allegedly beat and choked her, then tied her up in a locked closet, where she was tortured for hours. It all took place in their Miami apartment and came to light after his girlfriend escaped and called police. Rengifo is on the run and is being sought by police.
The Fraternal Order of Police union has issued a bulletin to its officers who work for the city of Fort Lauderdale, warning them of retaliation if they speak out on issues confronting the department. Union President Jack Lokiensky is alleging that Assistant City Manager David He`bert directed former police Chief Bruce Roberts to demote him, and this was one of the reasons Roberts, who refused to do so, abruptly resigned last month. According to a memo the union is distributing, the directive to Roberts came after union officials asked the Broward State Attorney’s Office to investigate Robert Bates, director of the city’s Office of Professional Standards, whom the union suspected of possibly violating Florida’s public records law.
Four candidates, former Pompano Beach Commissioner Edward W. Phillips, Woodrow J. Poitier, Ron Fryer and Joseph Wells, have qualified to seek the District 4 City Commission seat in an Aug. 26 special election. The winner will finish out the term of former Commissioner E. Pat Larkins, who retired on May 13 for health reasons. The term ends in March, when a regular election will take place.
Fifty-two-year-old Josper Sanon of Miramar completed more than a year and a half of a three-year animal cruelty sentence for throwing a puppy off a balcony during a fit of anger in 2005. The fourth District Court of Appeals has overturned his animal-cruelty conviction because prosecutors relied on statements made by his then-14-year-old son, who was not at the trial and never even testified. Prosecutors have now dismissed all charges against Sanon, but he remains in jail due to an immigration detainment. He will likely face deportation to his native Haiti.
A three-year-old toddler, Slayah Buie, is recovering from a gunshot wound, but police have yet to locate a suspect. The child was hit by a bullet that came through the walls of a home the family was visiting in Deerfield Beach. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-8477. A $1,000 reward is being offered.
In 2006, Johnnie Hankerson, 45, a former recreation programmer with the city of North Lauderdale, filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging he was the victim of discrimination by the city. Hankerson worked as a recreation programmer, and was the only full-time black employee at the park where he worked. He alleged he was the only full-time employee laid off, and that the layoff came after he began questioning financial practices and complaining about rat-infested work conditions. The EEOC has wrapped up its investigation and authorized him to file suit against the city.