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Tuesday, October 27, 2015



On October 26, 2015, the Pensacola branch of the League of Women Voters and head of their Education Committee, Mrs. Paula Montgomery, in cooperation with the American Civil Liberties Union, the Escambia Youth Justice Coalition, and the Coffee Party, held the second panel discussion of the School-to-Prison Pipeline.  Ms. Lisa Nellessen-Lara, executive editor of the Pensacola News Journal, moderated.

The first panel discussion hosted by the League of Women Voters, held on August 31, 2015, provides a broad overview of the issue in Escambia County--the country's number one county in terms of incarcerating children.

The discussion this time was more narrowly focused on the criminal justice system in Escambia County and how it deals with juvenile offenders.  Escambia County leads the free world, according to the ACLU's Ms. Keyontay Humphries, in incarcerating juveniles.

As part of the panel discussion, the sponsors showed a 17-minute TedX Jacksonville Talk by attorney Hank Coxe.  The main point of the video, "When will your child be eligible for parole," is that while juveniles may know the difference between right and wrong, their brains have not physically developed to control their behavior.  The criminal justice system nationwide, but particularly in Escambia County, is unprepared to deal with juveniles who may commit violent crimes or other serious crimes as juveniles.  Instead, they are transferred into the adult criminal justice system, put into traumatic solitary confinement, and given adult-level punishments.  For a further discussion of Hank Coxe's video presentation with a transcript, see the discussion between Hank Coxe and attorney Gray Thomas at Metro Jacksonville.

Tonight's panelists were Ms. Kelly Richards, a veteran juvenile Public Defender in Escambia County; Ms. Majorie Anders, Assistant State Attorney and another juvenile veteran; Mr. Greg Marcille, Chief Assistant State Attorney; Reverend Rick Branch from the downtown United Methodist Church; Mr. Spencer Wease, a juvenile offender who was rescued from the system by Pathways for Change; and, Ms. Tania Galloni, main lawyer for the Florida branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

What follows are the presentations in the chronological order of the event allowing the reader to experience the event as it unfolded.


Ms. Paula Montgomery, League of Women's Voters, Introduction

Pensacola Mayor Hayward, Remarks and Proclamation

Pensacola Police Officer Carl Reeves, PPD Update for Chief Alexander

American Civil Liberties Union, Ms. Keyontay Humphries, Overview

Pensacola Public Defender, Ms. Kelly Richards

Assistant State Attorney, Ms. Marjorie Anders

Chief Assistant State Attorney, Mr. Greg Marcille

United Methodist Church, Reverend Rick Branch

Pathways for Change participant, Mr. Spencer Wease

Southern Poverty Law Center attorney, Ms. Tania Galloni

Chief State Attorney Marcille's response to SPLC attorney Ms. Galloni

Pathways for Change Mr. Wease on how Pathways changed his life

SPLC attorney Ms. Galloni on 14-year old African American youth sentenced as adult

Public Defender Richards on budget and time constraints affecting juvenile justice

State Attorney Marcille on race not being factor in disposition of cases

ACLU's Ms. Humphries answering question on lack of diversity of panel

State Attorney Anders and ACLU's Ms. Humphries on "pantsing incident"

SPLC's attorney Ms. Galloni on juveniles' blocked access to military

State Attorney Anders response to Ms. Galloni

SPLC attorney Ms. Galloni response to Ms. Anders

Question, to what degree are public officials responsible?

Nearly all panelists comment on the role of public officials

ACLU's Ms. Humphries and Councilman Underhill comment

Mr. Bill Caplinger thanks Mr. Franco and staff for superb dinner and service

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


If you are any kind of religious or spiritual or atheistic entity located in any kind of church, mosque, synagogue, temple, garage, shack, outhouse, trailer, or shed that wants to "fight crime" and get a significant chunk of change for a down payment on a "church van," well hurry on down to Sheriff Morgan's church van finance company, also known as the Law Enforcement Trust Fund, and he'll fix you right up.  Better be quick, funds will definitely run out.  Oh, and its probably strictly based on what have you done or will do for him to get him elected and re-elected.

CJ's Street Report has been posting articles on how Sheriff Morgan uses Law Enforcement Trust Fund (LETF) monies not only to violate the Florida constitution on the very strict separation of church and state, as well as providing charitable LETF donations to at least one non-profit organization that supports his and other Republican candidacies, namely, the Filipino-American Association of Pensacola, but now Sheriff Morgan is apparently using the flimsiest fig leaf to cover the blatant political use of LETF donations to non-profit organizations in Escambia County.

Case in point is the Brownsville Assembly of God (BAG) over on Mobile Highway.

Back in the 1990s, BAG led the United States in a massive Christian revival based on stories of bogus miracles, shady finances that were uncovered by the Pensacola News Journal and conservative Christians, and a cynical strategy by the pastors to manipulate their followers (and others around the country) into believing something "real" was happening.

Even with apparently new pastors, old habits die hard at the Brownsville Assembly of God.

On March 14, 2015, the BAG applied for a $10,000 donation from Sheriff Morgan's Law Enforcement Trust Fund.  The $10,000, according to the application, was for a "church van."

The LETF monies, by Florida statute, "shall be used for school resource officer, crime prevention, safe neighborhood, drug abuse education and prevention programs, or for other law enforcement purposes, which include defraying the cost of protracted or complex investigations, providing additional equipment or expertise, purchasing automated external defibrillators for use in law enforcement vehicles, and providing matching funds to obtain federal grants."

Florida's Constitution, specifically Article 1 Section 3 on religious freedom reads, in part, "No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution." (h/t Maren's Blog)

The Brownsville Assembly of God justified their request for a "church van" thusly:

"We are asking for funding for a church van to pick up neighborhood children and youth who do not have a way to the children & youth programs of the church.  These programs instill moral and ethical values into a young person that will contribute to crime & drug prevention as well as drug education and neighborhood safety" [emphasis added].

Sheriff Morgan generously gave the Brownsville Assembly of God church a check (#10015504) on July 10, 2015, as a down payment on a church van that provides direct support to a sectarian church in violation of the Florida Constitution and apparently outside the bounds of a reasonable reading of the Florida statute governing the LETF.

What will that get him?  No doubt, plenty of goodwill from the ministers of the Brownsville Assembly of God who will in all likelihood invite Sheriff Morgan to come to the church to be recognized for his good work and thank him for the van money.  Oh, and will he mention its an election year coming up?  Will the BAG pastors be sure to mention that church members should vote for godly men and women for local office and look at the Sheriff with a gleam in their eye?

This is just blatant electioneering and political preening by Sheriff Morgan.

But, hey, all you mosques, synagogues, churches, temples, huts, garages, shacks, atheists, spiritualists, pastafarians, Satanists, and whatnot who will transport children and youth to any kind of program that has anything remotely to do with instilling values that assist crime prevention or drug education or a safe neighborhood, apply for your down payment money from Sheriff Morgan's church van finance company, better known as the Law Enforcement Trust Fund.

Monday, October 19, 2015

UPDATE: Susan Morgan Corroborates CJSR Claim About FIL-AM Association


On September 28, 2015, CJ's Street Report published an article claiming that the Filipino-American (FIL-AM) Association of Pensacola, Inc., may have appeared to have violated Internal Revenue Service regulations by "directly or indirectly, participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office."

Moreover, while it was perfectly legal for board members and officers of FIL-AM to donate directly to Sheriff Morgan's political campaigns, FIL-AM had actually "lent" its own "Karaoke Night" and the use of its owned building to another Filipino-American organization to raise funds for Sheriff Morgan's re-election campaign in September 2015.

And, the Filipino-American Association of Pensacola had been the recipient of $7,000 in donations from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund (LETF) in 2014.  This gives rise to the suspicious appearance of a scheme in which organizations who provide political support to Sheriff Morgan are rewarded with charitable donations from the LETF.

Now we know that the Filipino-American Association has been engaged in helping raise funds for Republican candidates since at least 2010, and Mrs. Susan Morgan, the Sheriff's wife, corroborated this relationship between the association and Republican candidates in a Pensacola News Journal article published in December 2012.

Thus, the Filipino-American Association has probably been engaged, at least indirectly, in partisan party politics since at least 2010 and the 2015 event for Sheriff Morgan actually appears to be the continuation of this FIL-AM board policy.

Updated Evidence

On June 25, 2010, on page 39 of the Weekender section of the Pensacola News Journal, there was this announcement:  "Filipino American Republican Club:  6:30 p.m. Saturday.  The Filipino American Republican Club will have a karaoke fundraiser featuring contestants who are local Republican candidates.  The master of ceremonies is Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.  Tickets:  $20.  Fil-Am Community Center, 234 W. Oakfield Road.  458-0719."

As stated in the earlier CJ's Street Report article, the Filipino-American Association explicitly claimed on its Form 990 that it is required to file with the Internal Revenue Service that it was not engaged in any political activity, and, that the karaoke night was one of their key fundraising events.

Now, they could argue that they may have been a 501(c)(4) organization and not covered by the 501(c)(3) organization regulation.  But, on their actual Form 990 filed in 2011 (the first year available from websites that track charitable donations), there is no status checked.

On Block 46 of the 2011 filing, the IRS asked, "Did the organization engage, directly or indirectly, in political campaign activities on behalf of or in opposition to candidates for public office?"  The FIL-AM Association treasurer checked the block, "No."

Mrs. Susan Morgan, wife of Sheriff David Morgan, had her email attacking George Touart, then the interim Escambia County administrator, quoted and summarized on pages 1A and 6A of the Pensacola News Journal on December 6, 2012.  According to the front page PNJ article, "Sheriff's wife targets Touart," "She also accuses him of leaving a campaign event at a Filipino-American club during his run in 2010 against County Commissioner Gene Valentino, allegedly telling Morgan, 'I didn't know these people existed.'"

Thus, Mrs. Morgan has corroborated the earlier PNJ Weekender announcement that the June or July event at the Filipino-American Association of Pensacola, Inc. club was a campaign event specifically held against then County Commissioner Valentino who lost his re-election bid.  That clearly suggests that FIL-AM was involved at least "indirectly" in political campaign activity "on behalf of or in opposition to candidates for public office."

Thus, it is possible that the declarations to the Internal Revenue Service may not have been totally accurate.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

VIDEO ESSAY: School-to-Prison Pipeline Personified

Reverend H.K. Matthews, founder, National Movement for Civil and Human Rights, and Pensacola civil rights icon.

On October 15, 2015, the National Movement for Civil and Human Rights, headed by Reverend H.K. Matthews, civil rights icon of Pensacola, held a press conference across the street from the Escambia County School District's headquarters to bring community and media focus on how the school district's policies negate the rights of children and parents.

According to the group's statement, "Too often, students in Escambia County routinely face summary removal without due process.  Swift explusions without due process usually operate under the pretext of emergencies.  Emergencies allow the Superintendent to unilaterally become the judge and jury determining which minor student's activity that is perceived as a violation of the district's school safety and order policies.  Students' use of drugs, weapons possession, and bomb threats are the few instances under Florida statutes which provides authority to bypass due process procedures."

Mr. Ellison Bennett, local representative of the National Movement for Civil and Human Rights, in coordination with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Reverend James Watson), Unity in the Family Ministry (Reverend Dr. Calvin Avant), the NAACP (Ms. Eliades Sampson, Pensacola president), and New World Believers (Reverend Rodney Jones) want all parents to know the following information in accordance with the Escambia County School Board's Student Rights and Responsibility's guidelines:

"The District has an obligation to document and notify parents/guardians regarding disciplinary sanctions taken against a student.

Prior to any disciplinary action, the student will be informed of charges against him/her orally and in writing.

The severity of the charge and the student's past disciplinary record will determine the punishment.

A student is entitled to legal counsel, to cross examine witnesses, or to call his/her own witnesses when a suspension exceeds 10 days."

L-R, Reverend James Watson, SCLC, Ms. Cindy Martin, Mr. Ellison Bennett, NMCHR

Reverend Rodney Jones, New World Believers

What follows are videos in the order of presentation at today's press conference.

Ms. Thelma ROBY, National Movement for Civil and Human Rights providing an overview of the expulsion action taken by the school district against three young men with promising futures.


Above, Reverend James Watson, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Opening Prayer

Above, Mr. Ellision Bennett, NMCHR, Introduction to issues.

Above, Ms. Davida Jones, mother of one of the three boys under school district threat.

 Above and below, Ms. Thelma Roby, NMCHR.

Above and below, Reverend H.K. Matthews, founder, National Movement for Civil and Human Rights.  Due to a camera malfunction, parts of Reverend Matthews' presentation was reshot after the press conference.

Above, Reverend James Watson, president Pensacola SCLC

Above, Reverend Dr. Calvin Avant, Unity in the Family Ministry

Above, Ms. Marilynn Lowe, community activist and retired school bus driver.