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Is it disputable that television news, primarily ABC, CBS, and particularly NBC, has been dominated by liberal bias for decades? Anecdotally, probably not. While cable network the Fox News Channel has raised more than a few hackles due to their apparent right-leaning coverage, FNC does attempt, not always successfully, to live up to their motto, “Fair and Balanced” by consistently presenting both conservative and liberal commentators and their respective views on just about every program on the network. “Fair and Balanced” is not an aphorism adopted by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC, and it tends to show. Why do so many liberals become incensed when the “F-word” Network is even mentioned? Mostly because they do tend to lean right most of the time–something radically new for a television audience that has been pummeled with left-leaning media bias for decades, so much so that most people don’t even notice anymore.

But what about the radio? While the supposed “common” knowledge of the liberal blogosphere trouncing the conservative alternative is a bit specious at best, in the world of talk radio, the truth is quite telling–conservative radio is simply thumping the liberal option. This isn’t necessarily surprising news considering the abject failure Air America Radio has been, so much so the progressive station was forced to file for bankruptcy in October of 2006 (despite previous refutations that the rumors of AAR’s demise were unfounded–spin.)

It’s obvious people prefer not to listen to liberal radio. Perhaps they get too much of that in their evening television news broadcasts, which could also stand as another indication as to FNC’s meteoric success–the people, having grown tired with liberal TV bias usually lacking balance, have opted instead for conservative bias with regular, moderate liberal balance. Whereas TV is almost entirely a liberal news medium, radio, which tends to offer greater honesty and less politically corrected pretense, is almost entirely a moderate to right-leaning news alternative, as was shown this week by the Center for American Progress (who apparently played a little fast and loose with their numbers–further down), much to their consternation.

First, the anemic Crooks and Liars perspective…

The (conservative) spirit of the radio

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I knew talk radio in this country skewed heavily to the far-right, but I had no idea it was this bad.

While progressive talk is making inroads on commercial stations, right-wing talk reigns supreme on America’s airwaves. Some key findings:

* In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming was conservative, and only 9 percent was progressive.

* Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk — 10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.

* 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive.

That’s astounding. America embraces progressive ideas on almost every issue of national significance, but according to this report (.pdf), prepared by the Center for American Progress and Free Press, progressive ideas have practically been wiped from the radio dials.

Now for the more expansive Newsbusters view…

 

Group Led By Clinton’s John Podesta Outlines Assault of Conservative Radio

Posted by Noel Sheppard on June 21, 2007 – 13:52.

The supposedly “free speech” left are out in force trying to silence all voices in the media with views different than their own just in time for the 2008 presidential campaign.

Potentially more worrisome, one liberal advocate in the middle of this debate has close ties to the Clintons, although it is quite unlikely the press will convey such when its recommendations are disseminated with their predictable stamp of approval.

*****Update: Michelle Malkin is all over this.

With that in mind, the left-leaning Center for American Progress published a report Thursday detailing how conservatives dominate the talk radio dial, and exactly what needs to be done legislatively for liberals to wrest control over this medium (emphasis added throughout):

  • Restore local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations.
  • Ensure greater local accountability over radio licensing.
  • Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.

Imagine that.

For those unfamiliar with the Center, its President and CEO is none other than John Podesta, the former Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton. And:

  • The Executive Vice President for Management is Sarah Rosen, who was also a member of the Clinton administration.
  • Senior Vice President for Development Debbie Goldberg worked for the Clinton campaign.
  • Senior Vice President and Director David Halperin was a speech writer for President Clinton.
  • Vice President of Communications Jennifer Palmieri was Clinton’s White House Deputy Press Secretary.
  • Senior Vice President for External Affairs Winnie Stachelberg worked at the Office of Management and Budget under Clinton.
  • Vice President of Finance and Operations Brad Kiley worked for the Clinton administration.
  • Ditto Peter Rundlet, Anna Soellner, Debbie Fine, and Michelle Jolin.

In reality, the staff and Senior Fellows listing of this Center reads like a Clinton administration Who’s Who.

Starting to get the picture? As you can imagine, this is why this group is so concerned with the following statistics it shared with its readers:

  • 91 percent of the political talk radio programming on the stations owned by the top five commercial station owners is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive.
  • 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk radio are broadcast each weekday on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk.
  • 92 percent of these stations (236 stations out of 257) do not broadcast a single minute of progressive talk radio programming.

Picture becoming clearer? Yet, there was more:

  • 76 percent of the total talk radio programming on the 65 stations in the top 10 markets is conservative, and 24 percent is progressive.
  • 423 hours and 40 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast in the top 10 markets each weekday compared to 135 hours of progressive talk.
  • More conservative talk is broadcast than progressive talk in each of the top 10 markets, although the disparity is less than five hours of total airtime in New York (18 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk vs.16 hours of progressive talk) and Chicago (33 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk vs. 29 hours of progressive talk).
  • In four of the top 10 markets, progressive talk is broadcast only two hours or less each weekday (Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, and Atlanta).

Understand why these folks are unhappy?

Of course, as you would imagine, these folks don’t believe these statistics are at all a function of market forces. Instead:

Our view is that the imbalance in talk radio programming today is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public trustee concept of broadcast regulation resulting from pro-forma licensing policies,17 longer license terms (to eight years from three years previously),18 the elimination of clear public interest requirements such as local public affairs programming,19 and the relaxation of ownership rules, including the requirement of local participation in management.

Color me unsurprised. As is typical, whenever a liberal is unhappy about something, it must be because government regulations aren’t tight enough.

Yet, what is truly fascinating is that one of the “problems” concerning under-regulation of this industry was deliciously implemented during the – wait for it – Clinton years:

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 removed the national limit on the number of radio stations that one company could own. This resulted in the wave of consolidation that carried Clear Channel from 40 stations to over 1,200, and many other conglomerates to several hundred stations apiece.

The economics of radio station ownership changed in this period as a result of consolidation. Large, non-local owners aired syndicated programming on a wider scale across their national holdings. Advertising on local stations was marketed and sold by national firms, undermining the ability of local owners to compete. Many sold their stations. The number of locally-owned, minority-owned, and female-owned stations was constrained—and the very different programming decisions these owners make were less visible in the market.

In short, the removal of ownership limits created artificial economies of scale for syndicated programming (dominated by conservative talk). Because of the size of corporate radio holdings, this business model was profitable even if localism declined and local tastes and needs were not suitably matched.

Isn’t that marvelous? So, on the one hand, these folks – most of them members of the Clinton administration – believe that the “problem” of conservative domination over the airwaves was signed into law by – wait for it! – their previous boss, likely with some of their blessings at the time.

Yet, eleven years later, recognizing that this didn’t work out well for them, they want to enact new laws to fix the problem they created.

Isn’t that special?

Without further ado, here are their recommendations:

  • National radio ownership by any one entity should not exceed 5 percent of the total number of AM and FM broadcast stations.
  • In terms of local ownership, no one entity should control more than 10 percent of the total commercial radio stations in a given market, or specifi cally, more than:
    • Four commercial stations in large markets (a radio market with 45 or more commercial radio stations).
    • Three stations in mid-markets (between 30 and 44 total commercial radio stations).
    • Two stations in smaller markets (between 15 and 29 total commercial radio stations).
    • One station in the smallest markets (14 or fewer total commercial radio stations).

[…]

We recommend the following steps the FCC should take to ensure local needs are being met:

  • Provide a license to radio broadcasters for a term no longer than three years.
  • Require radio broadcast licensees to regularly show that they are operating on behalf of the public interest and provide public documentation and viewing of how they are meeting these obligations.
  • Demand that the radio broadcast licensee announce when its license is about to expire and demonstrate how the public can participate in the process to determine whether the licenseshould be extended. In addition, the FCC should be required to maintain a website to conduct on-line discussions and facilitate interaction with the public about licensee conduct.

And finally (fasten your seatbelts!):

Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting

If commercial radio broadcasters are unwilling to abide by these regulatory standards or the FCC is unable to effectively regulate in the public interest, a spectrum use fee should be levied on owners to directly support local, regional, and national public broadcasting.

A fee based on a sliding scale (1 percent for small markets, 5 percent for the largest markets) would be distributed directly to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with clear mandates to support local news and public affairs programming and to cover controversial and political issues in a fair and balanced manner.

We estimate that such a fee would net between $100 million and $250 million and would not overly burden commercial radio broadcasters.

As you might imagine, the first set of recommendations are a total perversion of the free-market system.

Yet, what’s potentially more amusing about all this is the final category concerning violators paying a fine to support public broadcasting.

Think about it: if the plan is to get more liberal points of view on the airwaves, and these folks are looking to get more money to public broadcasting, aren’t they basically admitting that PBS is INDEED a disseminator of liberal opinions?

Somehow they missed this delicious irony…or did they?

Of course, if a left-leaning group composed largely of Clintonistas are willing to admit the liberal bias at PBS, maybe the discussion should be whether or not government funding to this organization should be immediately halted.

Barring that, it seems logical given this group’s concern for balance in media that ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Time, Newsweek, the Associated Press, Reuters et al should have to pay moneys to Fox News, the Washington Times, the National Review, and the Weekly Standard to compensate for liberal bias in print and on television.

Now that’s a cockamamie scheme I might be able to get behind.

As for Crooks and Liars claim that “America embraces progressive ideas on almost every issue of national significance,” different polls provide different results, as evidenced in the sourced link from their quote. One can find almost any information to back up their personal beliefs–in this instance, the left-leaning organization, Media Matters.

UPDATED!!!!

It looks like the Center for American Progress, while attempting to dampen free speech, were a bit deceptive in their number crunching with their original report (surprise!)

Again, from Newsbusters…

Conservative Radio Dominance Not as Grave as Liberals Proclaim

Posted by Noel Sheppard on June 22, 2007 – 15:37.

Update (Ken Shepherd): Maloney tells me he’ll be on the John Gibson radio program on Fox News radio shortly after 6:20 p.m. to discuss this.

As NewsBusters reported here and here, liberals around the country are carping and whining about conservatives having too much control of AM radio.

In fact, just yesterday, the Center for American Progress issued an outline as to what needs to be done to counter what it views as an unfair dominance of the airwaves by conservatives.

With that in mind, Brian Maloney has taken a look at the data collected by the Center to identify just how bad things really are for those poor liberals trying to compete with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al.

What Maloney found – not surprisingly – was that the Center fudged the numbers a bit to make it look like things were much worse than they actually are (emphasis added throughout):

[A] quick glance at the study reveals something else: they’ve greatly downplayed the amount of lefty talk actually airing.

In fact, the mistakes are so obvious, they shatter the study’s credibility. According to the methodology cited on page seven, “hosts were categorized as conservative, progressive/ liberal, or indeterminate/ neither based on self- identification, show descriptions, and listings in Talkers Magazine. Only hosts with evident and near- indisputable leanings were categorized.”

That’s where the survey’s clear bias is exposed: they clearly have a much easier time labelling a “conservative” host than a “progressive” one.

No surprise there, right? After all, anybody slightly right of center to liberals is a conservative. Yet, to be classified as a liberal by a liberal, you practically have to have a hammer and sickle on your lapel.

To prove the point, Maloney offered some examples:

  • San Francisco’s KGO is listed as featuring only three hours of daily liberal talk! If this refers to Bernie Ward, what about the four hours of hyper- lefty Ray Taliaferro (shown in top- left photo)? Or two hours of liberal- leaning Pete Wilson? Finally, why don’t the 17 hours or more of “progressive” weekend programming count?
  • The report lists KABC / Los Angeles as featuring no liberal talk, but morning host Doug McIntyre’s four- hour show fits the study’s “progressive” criteria, having sat on the “left” side of the Talk Radio Rumble panel at the recent New York City convention organized by Talkers.
  • In New York City, why weren’t WOR- AM afternoon hosts Hennican & White listed in the “progressive” column? Ellis Hennican is not shy when it comes to promoting a leftist viewpoint.
  • In Washington, why isn’t urban talker WOL listed on the liberal side as well? Take a look at the schedule: is there anything unclear about Al Sharpton’s leanings? The same goes for the stations with this format in Detroit, Philly, Chicago and elsewhere.

As always, I am never shocked when statistics collated and presented by a liberal establishment don’t pass the smell test. After all, as I’ve written about for years, to these folks, one plus one can equal zero, one, two, or three depending on what answer best fits the agenda being advanced.

Great catch, Brian.

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It is becoming more apparent with each passing day that former border patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean have been maliciously prosecuted by the United States government with U.S. District Attorney, Johnny Sutton as the primary malevolent force behind the unlawful suit and subsequent illegal detention of the two ex-agents in separate federal penitentiaries.

If, after having read this piece I posted last week, you are still unconvinced as to the evident innocence of Ramos and Compean, then you will likely remain obtusely stolid in your blind adherence to that belief–a belief that is crumbling as more passionate individuals than yourselves become involved, investigating, questioning, and bringing to light additional information for a case that was rotten to begin with. Your confidence in your government, in President Bush–a man who is purposefully opening our borders to illegals, and detrimentally expanding upon NAFTA through the Security & Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) in order to eventually create a North American Union–is alarming.

Yet there exist a large portion of the population who either know nothing about the plight of Ramos and Compean, or they callously and ignorantly side with officials who are on a massive PR push right now in order to deflect accusations of deception and wrong-doing on their part. To those who are savvy, it is obvious such people as Johnny Sutton and Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner are spinning and deceiving and hiding in order to obscure that fact that Ramos and Compean were railroaded by the government.

More comments from readers in this blog post

They shot an unarmed suspect (who they didn’t know was an illegal) in the back.
They tried to cover it up by picking up shell casings
They abandoned the shot man in the wilderness
They filed a false report about it.

Doing their jobs? Doesn’t sound like it.

and…

Looks like the President won’t be pardoning any criminals soon…

White House spokesman Tony Snow last week would not comment specifically on pardon proceedings, but he said the facts presented in court showed that Ramos and Compean tried to cover up what occurred.

U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton issued a statement in response to allegations the agents were prosecuted for “just doing their job,” saying “nothing could be further from the truth.”

“These agents shot someone who they knew to be unarmed and running away,” Sutton said. “They destroyed evidence, covered up a crime scene and then filed false reports about what happened. It is shocking that there are people who believe it is OK for agents to shoot an unarmed suspect who is running away.”

and finally, this last ignorant and cold comment…

If the President of the United States won’t even consider a pardon, why should I care about them?

While these are most likely comments from the same person, it is apparent that this person(s) has done very little investigation into the case of the border agents. Rather, he/she has relied upon the repetetive ramblings of Johnny Sutton to formulate his/her rash and uninformed beliefs in this matter.

But it is incumbent upon us, as those who proclaim the innocence of Ramos and Compean, to prove that innocence. There is no burden of proof upon those who believe they are guilty, as the commenter(s) above presume as truth due to the outcome of the original trial and the talking points of Sutton. However, and with confidence, I will say that due to people like Sara Carter of the The Daily Bulletin, Jerome Corsi, contributor for World Net Daily, and John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of the John and Ken Show on KFI, the political prisoners Ramos and Compean will be vindicated and released while people like Johnny Sutton will be brought up on charges and punished.

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Memo casts doubt on agency’s assertions

Homeland Security won’t release papers on border agents’ case

By Sara A. Carter, Staff Writer

The Department of Homeland Security’s assertions that two El Paso Border Patrol agents knowingly shot an unarmed suspect appear to be countered by the department’s own documents, the Daily Bulletin has learned.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told the Daily Bulletin on Wednesday that Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner has refused to deliver documents confirming his office’s claims that Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean admitted they “were out to shoot Mexicans,” and knowingly shot Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, a drug smuggler, in a border incident nearly two years ago.McCaul and three other House members met with Skinner on Sept. 26, 2006, to discuss the agents’ case.

The Daily Bulletin obtained a confidential Office of Inspector General memo from an interview Compean gave to investigators on March 18, 2005.

The memo, dated April 4, 2005, supports the agent’s claim that he believed his life was in danger when he tried to apprehend the Mexican drug smuggler on Feb. 17, 2005.Special Agent Christopher Sanchez of the Inspector General’s office stated in the memo that Compean believed Aldrete-Davila was carrying a weapon when Compean fired at him. Sanchez was the main DHS investigator on the case.

“Compean said that Aldrete-Davila continued to look back over his shoulder towards Compean as Aldrete-Davila ran away from him,” Sanchez wrote. “Compean said that he began to shoot at Aldrete-Davila because of the shiny object he thought he saw in Aldrete-Davila’s left hand … Compean explained that he thought that the shiny object might be a gun and that Aldrete-Davila was going to shoot him because he kept looking back at him as he ran away … .”

According to McCaul and the other congressmen who met with Skinner – Reps. John Culberson, Kenny Marchant and Ted Poe, all Republicans who represent Texas – the inspector general told them during their meeting last fall that Ramos and Compean had confessed to knowingly shooting at an unarmed suspect.

The Daily Bulletin made five phone calls for comment to the Office of Inspector General on Thursday, and left the same number of messages again on Friday. None of the calls were returned.

“According to the inspector general, they had evidence that the agents said they were out to shoot Mexicans,” Poe said. “I found that hard to believe and asked if I could see that evidence. They never gave us what was promised.”

McCaul, a former federal prosecutor in Texas, said the Inspector General’s office has refused to provide any evidence thus far to support its claims.

He and his colleagues are now demanding that Skinner turn over documents related to the case or face a subpoena or contempt of Congress.

“I want to weigh the facts and the evidence in this case,” McCaul said. “Either it is total arrogance or gross incompetence on the part of the Inspector General’s office. If what (the DHS) told us was a lie, or if they misrepresented the facts on this case to members of Congress, we are going to hold them accountable.”

Full transcripts from Ramos and Compean’s trial last spring still have not been made available to Congress or the public. According to McCaul, repeated requests for the transcripts since November have been answered with excuses.

Ramos and Compean shot Aldrete-Davila on Feb. 17, 2005, after a foot chase along the Texas-Mexico border. Aldrete-Davila, who was struck in the buttocks, had fled a van the agents were pursuing; the van later turned out to be holding more than 700 pounds of marijuana. The smuggler was given immunity by the U.S. Attorney’s office and full medical treatment for his injuries to testify against the agents.

The agents were convicted of several charges related to the shooting, notably assault with a deadly weapon. Ramos received an 11-year prison sentence, Compean 12 years.

Aldrete-Davila is suing the U.S. Border Patrol for $5 million for his injuries.

Ramos said he testified during the trial that he saw Aldrete-Davila with something “shiny” in his hand, and told the Daily Bulletin he thought it was a gun.

According to the memorandum, seven other agents were on the scene at the time of the shooting, including two supervisors whom Ramos and Compean both stated knew about the incident.

No other agents at the scene that day were prosecuted, and some were given immunity to testify against Ramos and Compean.

Agents and supervisors are required to file a written report if they participate in or know of an incident, according to TJ Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents nearly 11,000 Border Patrol agents.

“The steadfast refusal of the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to provide relevant information to Congress and the public about why Border Patrol agents Compean and Ramos were prosecuted causes people to wonder what they are trying to hide,” Bonner said.

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Ballistics data don’t support
charge against border agents

Investigator: U.S. attorney twisted evidence to fit case – ‘guilty of malicious prosecution’


Posted: January 28, 2007
10:45 p.m. Eastern

 

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Ballistics reports, used in the trial of Ignacio “Nacho” Ramos, one of two Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting fleeing drug dealer Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, do not support the prosecution’s claim the bullet was fired from Ramos’ gun, according to documents provided to WND from Andy Ramirez, chairman of the Friends of the Border Patrol. Despite the conclusion of a laboratory criminalist that he could not conclusively link the bullet removed from Aldrete-Davila with Ramos’ service weapon, a Department of Homeland Security agent swore, in an affidavit of complaint filed against Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, that Aldrete-Davila was hit by a round fired by Ramos.


Andy Ramirez

“Johnny Sutton and his assistants are guilty of malicious prosecution,” Ramirez charged to WND. “The prosecutors lied to the jury and he twisted evidence to make it fit his case. And when he couldn’t twist the evidence, the government demanded that the court seal evidence which would have been exculpatory to the defense.”

Nearly two years after the conclusion of the trial, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas has yet to release a transcript of the trial.

WND asked Ramirez if he was aware of the seriousness of his charges.

“I am very aware and I am accusing Mr. Sutton of a felony,” Ramirez told WND, “but I am basing my conclusion on the evidence I have examined in this case and the refusal by the government to provide evidence to substantiate its claim to the Congress and the American people.”

“Back on Sept. 26, 2006, officials from the DHS Office of Inspector General made serious allegations against both agents Ramos and Compean to four members of Congress from the Texas delegation,” Ramirez said. “The Inspector General has subsequently refused to provide their evidence to substantiate their claims to Congress. So I am also accusing the DHS Office of Inspector General of making false statements to Congress in order to prevent a congressional inquiry. I am asking the U.S. Congress to subpoena all documents pertaining to this case including the full transcripts, sealed testimony, and the sealed indictment against Aldrete-Davila in order to get to the truth of this case once and for all.”

Sutton told WND that as far as he in concerned, the issue was settled at the trial. Both defendants and their attorneys stipulated the bullet that struck the drug smuggler came from Ramos’ gun.

Ramirez argues the border agents did not have the best legal assistance, due to a lack of funds.

WND previously reported Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, has accused DHS of stonewalling on the release of documents. Despite persistent requests to hand over promised internal reports, McCaul told WND Congress had not yet received the materials.

In the Sept. 26, 2006, meeting with the Texas Republican delegation, the Inspector General’s office claimed it had substantiating investigative reports that could back up their criminal charges against Ramos and Compean. Among the charges made by IG was that Ramos and Compean had stated Feb.17, 2005, the day of the Aldrete-Davila shooting, they “wanted to shoot a Mexican.”


Monica Ramos embraces her husband, former U.S. Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos, two days before he was sentenced to 11 years in prison (Courtesy El Paso Times)

WND also reported Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, last week filed a Freedom of Information Act request against the DHS Inspector General’s office to obtain those investigative reports. Poe took this action after DHS informed the Texas Republican delegation the documents would not be turned over to them because the Democrats were now in control of Congress and McCaul was no longer chairman of the Investigations Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Ramirez has worked on the Ramos and Compean matter for nearly two years, investigating the facts of case and interviewing Ramos, Compean, their families and others knowledgeable about the proceedings. He shared two documents with WND that, he says, undermine the prosecution’s case against Ramos.

In an affidavit filed by DHS March 15, 2005, with the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas, special agent Christopher R. Sanchez swore the following:

Ballistics testing confirms a government-issued weapon belonging to U.S. Border Patrol Agent Ignacio “Nacho” Ramos, a 96D Beretta .40 caliber automatic pistol, serial number BER067069M, fired a bullet (a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson jacketed hollow point) which hit the victim in the left buttocks while he was attempting to flee to Mexico.

The second document, a ballistics report completed by the Texas Department of Public Safety, interests Ramirez both because of the agency that did the testing and the results of the test.

“For some unexplained reason, U.S. Attorney Sutton had the ballistics test performed by the Texas Department of Public Safety in El Paso, rather than by the FBI,” he said. “This was a federal issue that should have gone to the FBI and only to the FBI. The Texas Department of Public Safety had no business running a ballistics report on a federal case. The FBI handles all shooting incidents, whether it involves assaults or otherwise, concerning federal agents. DPS should have refused the case and demanded that the bullet be picked up by the FBI for analysis.

“If you ask the Texas DHS how many shooting cases they handle involving federal agents, they would have said, ‘None’. Then, if you asked the FBI how many shooting cases they handle involving federal agents, they would have said, ‘All of them.’ Yet that isn’t how it went in this case. Nothing was done by the rules.”

The results of the ballistics tests were reported in a letter written by Joseph J. J. Correa, a Criminalist IV with the Texas DPS El Paso Laboratory, March 18, 2005, and addressed to Brian D. Carter of DHS in El Paso.

The letter states Correa examined one fired copper-jacketed bullet presented to him by Carter on March 17, 2005. The letter identifies the victim shot by the bullet as “Osvaldo Aldrete.”

In the letter, Correa notes that he was asked to determine the manufacture of the firearm that fired the submitted bullet.

Correa could not positively identify Ramos’s weapon as the one that fired the submitted bullet. His report concludes:

The copper-jacketed bullet was fired from a barrel having six lands and grooves inclined to the right. The manufacturer of the firearm that fired the copper-jacketed bullet is unknown, but could include commonly encountered models of .40 S&W caliber FN/Browning, Beretta, Heckler & Koch, and Ruger pistols.

Correa’s report gives no indication the bullet submitted for analysis was disfigured or in fragments, despite having been supposedly extracted from Aldrete-Davila’s body after reportedly doing massive damage to his groin area and hitting bone.

“The problem was that the ballistics report did not match the bullet to Ramos’ gun,” Ramirez said. “The ballistics report said the bullet could have been fired by any one of four different makes of gun. So, the affidavit of complaint against Ramos and Compean made a statement that was not substantiated by the ballistics report. That is a big problem for the prosecution. Their evidence does not support their accusation.”

The arrest warrant issued for agent Ramos, a copy of which Ramirez also supplied WND, attests Ramos was charged with, “Intentionally assaulting a Mexican national, one O.A.D., resulting in serious bodily injury.” This conclusion is not supported by the ballistics letter written by Texas DPS specialist Correa.

WND has not investigated documents from the prosecutors which would establish the chain of evidence between the time the bullet was extracted from Aldrete-Davila’s groin and the time Carter of DHS presented it to Correa for analysis.

“How do we know that the prosecutors didn’t simply fire a round from Ramos’ gun into gel?” Ramirez asks. “That could explain the nearly pristine bullet the prosecutors presented for ballistics analysis.”

The failure of the prosecution ballistics reports to link the bullet with agent Ramos’ weapon directly challenges a claim made by Sutton to WND in an exclusive interview. In that interview, Sutton claimed that agent Ramos hit Aldrete-Davila:

WND: So, Compean shot 14 times and missed everybody, but Ramos shot one time and hit the drug dealer in the buttocks?

Sutton: That’s correct.

WND: Is Ramos that much better a shot than Compean?

Sutton: Ramos is a marksman.

WND has further learned the bullet was not extracted from Aldrete-Davila’s body until DHS special agent Christopher R. Sanchez brought him back from Mexico, at some unspecified time after the February 17, 2005 incident in which Aldrete-Davila was supposedly wounded by agent Ramos’ fire.

A doctor in Mexico had inserted a catheter to reverse the damage done to Aldrete-Davila’s urethra, but did not extract the bullet.

The bullet was extracted by a U.S. Army doctor, at government expense. According to the physician, the bullet entered Aldrete-Davila’s left buttock from the left side, traversed his groin, damaged the urethra, hitting bone in the process, and lodged in his right thigh. The bullet was extracted from Aldrete-Davila’s right groin and he received reconstructive surgery for the damage done to his groin and urethra and a catheter was reinserted.

WND has obtained the post-operative release form for the U.S. operation. That document specifies that Aldrete-Davila was released to the custody of DHS special agent Christopher Sanchez. WND has not been able to obtain evidence regarding where Sanchez took Aldrete-Davila next, or why.

The Army doctor’s description of the wound directly contradicts U.S. Attorney Sutton’s repeated claim that agents Ramos and Compean shot Aldrete-Davila in the back.

The doctor clearly stated that the wound he observed was consistent with Aldrete-Davila turning to assume a “bladed position” with his left arm extended back toward the officers. This corroborates agent Ramos and Compean’s claim they observed Aldrete-Davila turning back toward them while fleeing, extending his arm and holding an object in his hand that they took to be a weapon.

Aldrete-Davila is left-handed, consistent with the bullet entering his left buttock laterally as he fled and turned back toward the officers, possibly pointing a weapon at them.

“The doper after the surgery was transferred back to the personal custody of DHS special agent Sanchez,” Ramirez said. “So Christopher Sanchez has both the doper and the bullet. Aldrete-Davila was not transferred to a hotel, escorted by federal marshals. Aldrete-Davila wasn’t escorted from Mexico by the Mexican government. Everything involving Aldrete-Davila was left to the personal custody of Christopher Sanchez. Anything could have happened and who would know?”

WND is left to ask the following questions, which the Texas DPS ballistics analysis does not resolve:

  • How did Aldrete-Davila continue running far enough to cross the Rio Grande back into Mexico after he had been hit by a round that passed through his left buttock from the side and damaged his urethra before lodging in his right thigh?

  • How do we know that the bullet extracted from Aldrete-Davila could not have been fired into him during an unrelated incident in Mexico subsequent to Feb. 17, 2005, by a weapon among those of the type described in Correa’s report?

Conceivably, agents Ramos and Compean did not hit fleeing drug smuggler Aldrete-Davila on Feb. 17, 2005, despite firing multiple rounds at him.

“Johnny Sutton and his office have intentionally distorted and misrepresented the facts in this case,” Ramirez charged. “There’s something clearly wrong in the federal prosecutor’s office in El Paso. The Ramos and Compean case is a witch hunt. Every law enforcement agent on the border from Border Patrol agents to ICE agents to deputy sheriffs and sheriffs have gotten the message.”

What’s the message, WND asked?

“The message is simple,” Ramirez replied. “Enforce our drug laws aggressively on the border and you risk going to jail, not the drug dealers. We have a drug war going on along the Texas border and the U.S. government has backed off to the benefit of the drug lords.

Ramirez ended the interview with WND by noting: “After the Ramos and Compean case, no U.S. law enforcement officer on the border will ever again draw a weapon against a Mexican illegal transporting drugs without worrying that effort to enforce our laws may place him in jail, not the doper.”

On Aug. 17, 2006, Ramirez gave sworn testimony on the Ramos and Compean case to the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, a copy of which is posted on his website.

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I have refrained from addressing the issue of former Los Angeles Fire Department fireman, Tennie Pierce and his racial discrimination lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles after having been fed dog food from fellow firemen a few years back.  Last month, the Pierce fiasco was all over local talk radio and television news, even making national news to a smaller degree.  Why have I not posted anything concerning Tennie and his two scoops of dog food ingestion?  I have no idea.  Normally, this story would be something I would have enjoyed discussing, but for some reason I simply didn’t get around to posting a single entry about the whole mess.   There’s no time like the present I suppose, and since the drama simply refuses to subside, I reason the time has come nigh for my input concerning the matter of Tennie Pierce vs. Los Angeles.

Basically, Tennie Pierce is an idiot.

It is truly inconceivable to me that an actual legitimate lawyer (hmm… is there really such a thing?), backed by an actual law firm would choose to represent a man such as Pierce for an incident as innocuous as what transpired two years ago–the dog food incident.

Anyway, who is Tennie Pierce?  If you aren’t already familiar with the man, Pierce is a black ex-Los Angeles fireman, having served in that capacity for nearly 20 years.  At one point in 2004, Pierce was subjected to a prank wherein his fellow firemen mixed dog food into a plate of spaghetti, presented it to Pierce who then proceeded to partake of the dish, swallowing two bites of the affected pasta before he realized his peers had pulled some sort of frivolity upon him, not because he could taste the dog food in the spaghetti, but simply because the other firemen were laughing hysterically at their frat house-style deception.

Pierce claimed he was subjected to racial discrimination due to the prank.  He secured the services of lawyer Genie Harrison (who is also currently representing several LAFD firewomen on discrimination charges–cases that appear to hold much more weight than the Pierce case) and marched forward in a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles.  Upon the horribly misguided advice of LA city attorney Rocky Delgadillo, Tennie Pierce was eventually awarded $2.7 million of LA taxpayer money by the city council in an overwhelming 11 to 1 ruling, with councilman Dennis Zine the only dissenting (and obviously sane) voice.  I don’t blame Zine for now requesting an outside legal team defend against the Pierce case–Delgadillo proved nothing but impotent.

Cue John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of the Los Angeles based talk radio station KFI640.  Championing the taxpayers of Los Angeles, these two radio hosts, through various means, managed to bring to the fore telling evidence in the form of old photographs featuring Tennie Pierce engaging in various pranks upon other firemen that are flagrantly racist and shamelessly degrading.  However, in light of the new photos, the city council continued their hard-headed, out-of-touch-with-reality ways and protracted their original judgment awarding nearly three million dollars to a man who ate two spoonfuls of dog food.  With strengthened fury, John and Ken continued their rant against Pierce and the LA city council.  Publicity of the case became top evening news.

Pressure on the city council grew to titanic proportions until the intervention of Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa grew inescapable.  He could no longer ignore the cries of outrage from the public.  Late last month, Villaraigosa vetoed the city council’s original adjudication.  I’ve never been a fan of Villaraigosa, but I will give credit where credit is due:  This was a rare, smart decision.

Of course, Genie Harrison swore the repercussions of this choice would cost the city far more if the Pierce case were to go to trial.

Here are the basic no-brainers apropos to this case.

1.  Tennie Pierce had a nickname–“The Big Dog.”

2.  Pierce was fed the dog food as a prank from fellow firefighters who were annoyed by his chest-thumping arrogance during a department volleyball match in which Pierce was heard by many to shout, “feed the big dog” repeatedly throughout the game every time he scored a point, spiked the ball, or did anything worthy of celebration on his part.

3.   In firehouses throughout Los Angeles and the nation, frat house shenanigans play a modest part in relieving stress, rites of initiation, promotion, retirement, etc.  This is nothing new or shocking.  Personally, if acting like children helps maintain the sanity of firefighters around the country, who am I question their Neanderthal-like rites of passage.  As long as they put out fires, I’m happy.

4.  Under the circumstances, feeding dog food to Tennie Pierce was not racially motivated, nor was there any intent of racial discrimination on the part of the firemen who fed Pierce the dog food.  While not an innocent prank (because in all actuality, there’s no such thing), deeming it racist is idiocy.

5.  The surfacing of various photographs clearly depicting Pierce actively perpetrating and participating in numerous pranks against other firefighters are incontrovertibly racist and homophobic.  These photos are the central argument for the Villaraigosa veto.  Here are only a few of the photos

Prank: “Oy vey! I’m Gay!”  What the fuck?  And Pierce felt he had a right to bring a racial discrimination lawsuit against the city?  Of course, these photos came out after the lawsuit, but I’m sure he was hoping they would never surface.  Too bad for him. 

Tennie Pierce

In these pictures, Pierce can be seen assisting in holding a man down, grasping his genitals, and preparing to shave his naughty bits.  Ultimately, the prankee came out unscathed because it was just a PRANK!.

Also, the last picture depicts Pierce pouring water into another fireman’s mouth via a garden hose.  This looks to go beyond pranking.  It’s simply brutal water-boarding torture. 

continued from above…

Now however, it appears that Pierce lawyer, Genie Harrison is looking not to take the case to court as she so angrily threatened after the veto last month.  Instead, it looks as if she and Pierce realize that any meaningful award will not come from the court system.  With the above pictures, I can’t imagine a sensible jury anywhere bestowing any sort of meaningful reward in favor of Tennie Pierce.

Of course, there have been boneheaded verdicts in the past that have squarely followed race lines.  This I believe is not the case to champion.  Tennie Pierce deserves every ounce of ridicule, humiliation, and disdain he’s received from the public as a result of his case against the city of Los Angeles.   I do not want one penny of my tax money going to shady and despicable man looking for a quick and easy dollar by pulling the race card in a situation that was clearly not racially motivated.

Shame on Tennie Pierce and shame on Genie Harrison (may you never win another case throughout the remainder of your career.)

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On a side note, and in reference to the bleeding-heart story further down the page courtesy of the LA Times, Tennie Pierce’s claims of time as a member of the Denver Broncos NFL team are quite spurious.  No one from the Broncos of years past remembers Pierce.  No records of him exist.  No one knows who the hell he is, and they deny he was ever signed to the team, let alone he ever played a pre-season game.

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Settlement talks reopen in bias case

L.A. officials are trying to strike a deal to close the debate over hazing of a firefighter whose lawsuit has prompted so much controversy.

By Jim Newton and Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writers
December 19, 2006

Los Angeles officials have reopened talks with the lawyer for former firefighter Tennie Pierce as the two sides seek to settle a racial discrimination case that has upended city politics in recent weeks.

Although officials would not discuss the matter on the record, one person close to the talks said they are trying to strike a deal that would end Pierce’s case against the city and close debate over his attempt to secure a $2.7-million payout.

Pierce, a nearly 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department, sued the city after colleagues in his station house fed him dog food mixed with spaghetti sauce and then allegedly taunted him for months after the incident.

Details of the new proposed settlement were being closely guarded, but sources familiar with the talks said both sides were attempting to craft an agreement that would structure any payment in a way that would make clear that much of the money to Pierce was to compensate for lost salary and pension benefits — and that his payout would cover his legal bills as well. One official said the deal also might involve setting aside a portion of the money for Fire Department reforms.

In settlement talks earlier this year, the city and Pierce’s attorneys discussed providing at least $1.3 million to buy out his pension plan at a rate as if Pierce was a 30-year employee, according to a transcript of a City Council closed session on the case from June 21. Pierce, at that time, was six months shy of serving 20 years.

Pierce, a tall and broad-shouldered African American, was fed dog food after a 2004 volleyball game in which he proclaimed himself the “Big Dog.”

In pursuing his lawsuit against the city, Pierce has argued that the incident and its aftermath were humiliating and made it impossible for him to stay with the department. Critics of the deal have cited Pierce’s “Big Dog” remark as evidence that the incident was intended as an innocent joke and not racially motivated, and have noted that Pierce himself admits to having engaged in pranks as a firefighter.

Nevertheless, in the weeks since the council first overwhelmingly approved the deal, it has sparked outrage on both sides, often with a clear racial subtext. In interviews, many African Americans have tended to side with Pierce, while many whites have been markedly less sympathetic.

Last month, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa vetoed the original settlement amid a wave of public criticism and radio talk show jibes. The council then reversed itself and upheld Villaraigosa’s veto.

That could propel the Pierce case to trial, but the city’s interest in settling grows out of the sense, shared by many city officials, that a jury verdict could end up costing taxpayers more than a deal.

That conviction is based in part on a broader view of the case than the mere act of Pierce eating dog food. Last summer, professional mediator Joel Grossman considered the case and sanctioned the $2.7-million proposed settlement. According to a source familiar with that mediation, Grossman reached that conclusion in part because he believed that Pierce suffered long after the dog food incident.

That source said news of the prank quickly spread throughout the Fire Department, and firefighters across the city would tease Pierce wherever he went. Some called his home and left messages with barking sounds. Others would ask which he preferred, Alpo or Purina. Fire Department officials knew of the teasing but allowed it to continue, thus arguably making them complicit in a workplace environment that Pierce found increasingly hostile.

In a deposition, one top official in the Fire Department — whom the source described as a high-ranking African American — conceded that the harassment of Pierce appeared to him to be racially motivated. If the case goes to trial, that deposition could be used against the city and could incline a jury to punish the department and city with a large award. The mediator indicated to the lawyers in the case that that deposition weighed heavily on him in recommending the $2.7-million deal, the source said.

Although the source did not name that fire official, Millage Peaks, a battalion chief who is African American, was deposed in July. On Monday, Peaks declined to comment about his deposition, but he has in the past spoken out publicly about racism and harassment in the Fire Department.

Advocates of settling the case also stressed that the amount includes legal fees. If the case goes to trial and Pierce wins, he probably would be entitled to legal fees on top of whatever a jury might award him in damages. And since the case already has a long history — that would only grow more extensive given a trial — some estimate that Pierce’s legal bill could top $1 million.

At the same time, there are incentives for Pierce’s lawyers to negotiate. Pierce admitted to engaging in pranks himself, which could weaken his case in the eyes of a jury. And some jurors might not sympathize with giving a large sum over what the city could argue was a relatively trivial act of harassment.

Reached Monday, Grossman confirmed that he had mediated the deal, but declined to discuss it, saying he needed permission from the lawyers on both sides. The city attorney’s press office declined to comment on negotiations because the case was still being litigated.

Still, any proposed deal is likely to stir controversy again, and some council members are wary of supporting a large payout.

“The overwhelming majority of the public is clearly against the settlement,” said Councilman Dennis Zine. “At least in my office, all the calls and e-mails that we received said, ‘Councilman, you have the courage to stand up and do what’s right.’ ”

Zine also said that he would be leery of any large settlement offer. “A million dollars is too much,” he said.

Councilwoman Jan Perry, by contrast, voted to settle the case for $2.7 million and then voted later to override the mayor’s veto of that agreement.

On Monday, she said she did not have any firsthand knowledge of further talks in the case, although she said she had heard buzz around City Hall that negotiations were continuing.

She stressed that she would be open to any deal that “drives the city into stopping such patterns and practices of the city allowing and letting stand a hostile work environment.”

Perry said that if talks were ongoing, she wouldn’t expect to see another settlement in the neighborhood of $2.7 million. She said “it would be surprising if it was in the same ballpark” because objections by the mayor and some other council members were based on the amount.

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(Here is a shameful, sob-story look at Pierce post-veto.  Leave it to the perpetually subscriber-sliding LA Times to write such abhorent drivel.)

For firefighter, sense of brotherhood shattered

SANDY BANKS, Times Staff Writer
December 14, 2006

Before he was Big Dog in the fire station, he was Big Fella because of his giant frame and Bigfoot because of his size 15 boots. Before there was the dog food in his spaghetti, there was the noose draped over his station locker and the white flour sprinkled in his bed.

And before Tennie Pierce became the Los Angeles Fire Department’s $2.7-million man — a symbol of racial discrimination to some and political correctness gone wrong to others — he was an ordinary firefighter, who had spent 17 years pledging allegiance to the department’s notion of brotherhood.

That allegiance began unraveling two years ago, when a firefighter at Pierce’s Westchester station mixed dog food into his dinner — a practical joke intended to “humble” him, the department’s investigative report said, for “declaring himself Big Dog” in a volleyball game.

Pierce sued the city for racial harassment last year, after enduring what he describes as months of taunts and retaliation. The City Council voted to settle his case for $2.7 million last month, but, after a public uproar, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa vetoed the settlement.

Pierce’s claim and its repercussions — a respected fire department unmasked; a popular fire chief dispatched; a racially divided populace at odds — unhinged the city and unmoored the man.

“I didn’t expect it to go the way it went,” said Pierce, whose public claim and private life — from his work habits to the state of his marriage — provided weeks of fodder for talk radio programs. Hosts such as John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou on KFI-AM (640) fielded dozens of calls from disgruntled white firefighters, who castigated Pierce for “playing the race card” and produced photos of him joining in the hazing of others.

The storm took Pierce by surprise. “I always felt I was part of a great brotherhood,” he said. “I know I have always been upright and fair. When I see how the masses turned on me….” He shrugs his giant shoulders and stares at the floor.

For some, he’s become a caricature — a big, strong, black man brought down by a couple of bites of dog food. But to his friends and family, the reality is considerably more complicated.

“The Fire Department was Tennie’s life,” said L.A. firefighter and friend Johnny Green. “He would much rather be at work than going through this foolishness.”

Pierce knows those photos of him standing over firefighters smeared with condiments and shaving cream made him a lightning rod for criticism. But the pranks weren’t done to hurt anyone, he said. “Basically, it’s a celebration of love. It’s your birthday, your last day at the station…. I’ve never heard a guy say, ‘Stop. Don’t do this to me.’ ”

But Green said Pierce was one of relatively few black firefighters who participated in hazing rituals. “He assimilated with those guys” at his station, Green said. He went on ski trips with them, helped work on their houses, spent his days off with them riding Harleys.

“That’s why the betrayal he feels is so strong,” Green said. “He’s the O.J. of the Fire Department.”

*

Recognized by strangers

Pierce is 6 feet 5 and weighs more than 250 pounds, so it’s hard for him to hide. Strangers recognize him at the gym, at his daughter’s school. People he doesn’t know feel free to scold him.

“There are all those people out there casting stones,” he said. “Reporters standing on my porch, [confronting] my daughter coming home from school.”

His lawsuit has not only angered many whites but has also divided black firefighters and made Pierce a pariah among men who were his friends.

The black firefighters organization the Stentorians has refused to back his lawsuit. “Right case, wrong guy,” one black captain said. Because Pierce participated in hazing rituals, supporting Pierce would undercut the group’s official stance that “no member be subjected to any form of unprofessional behavior or practices in the workplace.”

The rift is hard for Pierce to bear, Green said. “He’s a teddy bear. Did he have fun and play games? Yeah. Hazing, condiments … that was all good-natured fun. Tennie did that real well.”

The dog food was another matter. There are three rules that every firefighter knows, Green and others say. “You don’t mess with people’s family, you don’t mess with their safety equipment, you don’t mess with their food,” Green said. “What they did to him crossed the line.”

Pierce has been off work now — relying on a combination of sick leave, disability, vacation and administrative leave — for more than a year, collecting a portion of his salary while he spends his days working out, visiting doctors and therapists, and helping out at his daughter’s track practices.

The enforced idleness has been hard on their marriage, his wife says. Pierce is often irritable and unable to sleep, ashamed that he must rely on his wife’s salary to support the family.

His case is headed for trial next year, though city officials could offer another settlement. But his career as a firefighter is over, he said.

Pierce denied rumors that he has been visiting other cities to look for a firefighting job. “I’m 51. My body is beat up,” he said. He wants to go back to college “and start my life over again.”

*

Football career envisioned

Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Pierce left Cal State Northridge five credits shy of graduation, he said, envisioning a pro football career. He said he was signed by the Denver Broncos but was injured during a preseason game in 1980 and never played during a regular season.

He married and had two children, then divorced and wound up with custody of his infant daughter and toddler son. He was working as a pipe fitter when a friend told him that the Los Angeles Fire Department — then under a consent decree mandating the hiring of minorities — had openings. He joined the department in 1987.

A year later, his daughter, then 5, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. His older sister moved in with him to help care for the child, who was bedridden, had a tracheotomy tube in her throat and needed twice-daily trips from Inglewood to UCLA for treatment. She died in 1989, just after her sixth birthday. His son is now 26.

The next year, Pierce remarried, and the couple later adopted a 3-year-old girl. His wife watched him throw himself into his work; the demands of his new job seemed to help ease his grief, she said.

“It meant learning a new language and a new way of thinking, a whole different culture,” Pierce said.

Pranks and hazing were a part of that culture. In his first station assignment in the San Fernando Valley, Pierce got a taste, and made a choice.

“We were practicing knots,” he recalled, “and somebody laid a noose right in front of my locker.” He threw it in the trash without telling anybody.

“You want the job so bad, you don’t want to stir the pot,” Pierce said. “You go up there and tell the captain, then the captain calls everybody into the kitchen and now I’ve created a hostile work environment for myself.”

Nor did he complain later, when a buddy sprinkled flour in his bed, leaving his dark skin dusted white. “It wasn’t mean,” he said. “It was like that old saying, ‘Boys will be boys.’ ”

“People criticize him [now] for complaining,” said his lawyer, Genie Harrison. “But Tennie’s got 17 years of doing nothing but laughing about the jokes that were played on him.”

Pierce said he was so shocked and ashamed when his station mates confessed that they had tricked him into eating dog food that he didn’t even tell his wife when he went home.

Then the calls from other black firefighters “started coming through on my home phone…. ‘Hey, Pierce, I heard what happened…. I’m glad it was you and not me, because if it happened to me, there’d be people in the hospital.’ That’s how my wife found out.”

The news traveled quickly through the department, he said. Firefighters began teasing him, calling him ‘dog food boy,’ barking like a dog when he walked by.

Pierce decided to sue, he said, only when the environment became unbearable. “I’ve been on this department for a long time. I’ve done everything they’ve ever asked me to do,” he said.

“All I asked for was three things: transfer me, do a thorough investigation, let me have some kind of psychological help to deal with this.”

He received got counseling and was transferred, but was later ordered back to the Westchester station.

And although the Fire Department’s records show that the battalion chief overseeing the Westchester station did, indeed, call for a full investigation, Deputy Chief Andrew Fox, who heads the department’s disciplinary division, rejected that recommendation. Instead, he relied on firefighters’ written statements to administer three suspensions ranging from six days to one month off without pay.

The fallout is still reverberating through the city’s fire stations. “There are 3,600 firefighters that love the Los Angeles Fire Department and want it to have a sterling reputation,” said Pat McOsker, former president of the firefighters union. “They are heartbroken that a handful of incidents are dragging us through the mud.

“The natural tendency is to be mad at those responsible: ‘Why couldn’t you just suffer this silently?’ ” he said. “I’m not saying that’s right, but that’s what happens.”

Green said Pierce is heartbroken too. “He really was the Big Dog … the biggest, blackest man in that station, with more seniority than any of them,” he said. “When they gave him that dog food, they were sending him a message: He would never be one of them.

“I’m sad for Tennie, that’s he’s got to go through this, change his phone numbers, move his kid’s school,” Green said. “But this case needs to go to court so people will see what it’s like for African Americans.”

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