Tuesday, March 27, 2012

[UPDATED] Is the story of the "you get what you deserve, white boy" kid doused with gasoline and set on fire a hoax?

I don't usually add a prologue to my posts, but this one is unique. It deals with facts, questions, and doubts, and strong emotions about the case of Allen Goin, a Caucasian kid in a mostly Black high school in Kansas City who received burns in an incident in front of his home that has become a national issue, in part because the lack of media attention for this apparent hate crime is in sharp contrast with the media storm over the killing of Trayvon Martin. 

My goal is to get out the facts and deal with lingering questions so as to get to the bottom of what happened here. I've been driven by outrage, curiosity, and suspicion, but it's important to remain as objective as possible, while remaining respectful and courteous to commenters and those who are involved in this story. 

I feel that the best way to do that is to leave the story in a "chronological format" (i.e, leave it up as it was written instead of making changes as the story went on). That, to me, is more honest, and it also shows those late to the story how it has played out.

The upshot of this is that if your goal is to seek information, then you need to read all the way through, including the comments, where much of the information has been revealed. Reading half runs the risk of presenting only half the story. My apologies if that sounds like homework. 

ORIGINAL POST (updates follow):
I first started reading about this case on various conservative-leaning websites, where it has been offered up as an antidote to all the media coverage about the killing of Trayvon Martin, the teenager in Florida killed by an apparently trigger-happy Neighborhood Watch volunteer who had muttered to the 911 dispatcher something about "fuckin' coons" minutes before he shot young Mr Martin in supposed self-defense, after which the cops let him go.

The case of Allen Coon (yeah, go figure) in Kansas City, they complained, was just as bad but was getting very little press and there were still no arrests. I think the idea of two Black kids grabbing a White kid and "dousing" him with gasoline and then setting him on fire is outrageous and, if things happened the way we were told, clearly a hate crime. (Allen Coon's name sometimes appears in the media as Allen Goin.) [UPDATE: His actual name is Allen Goin, which is what the news media said, not Allen Coon, which is what many of the blogs were saying.]

But then when I started looking into the story, I noticed from television news reports that young Allen's skin was remarkably free of burn marks, for someone who had been "doused" with gasoline and then had his head set on fire. What I'd imagined was a horribly disfiguring incident had left him, according to reports, with little more than first-degree burns (i.e., redness) on his face. Wow, that's incredibly lucky, my skeptical self said to myself.

But then I saw this picture, taken from the Justice for Allen Coon Facebook page, and I thought I should reserve any snark and doubt for after the investigation. That kid looks pretty messed up.

In fact, I first saw the picture here, a site that explains how so many (supporters and detractors alike) are getting the story wrong. And while he didn't go so far as to say the story was a hoax, I noticed that in the news video of the story, Allen Coon's singed eyelashes at 0:49 don't quite look like the eyelashes in the Facebook picture. He also looks a bit older than someone who'd be Allen Coon's age.

And so I did a Google image search. It turns out, the picture of the messed-up burn victim is from stories of desperate Afghan women committing self-imolation, in 2010. See herehere, and here, for example, or here from 2011. This Afghanistan forum shows it in May 2009.

After further investigation, the earliest usage of the photo I found it was here, here, and here in September 2008.

So just what is the "Justice for Allen Coon" Facebook page doing pretending that an Afghan burn victim is Allen Coon? That smells very fishy. Is it that the actual burns suffered by Allen Coon are not that severe and, if so, that it undermines the claims he and his mother have made? (Go read the link in the fifth paragraph for why she would be motivated to do so; if it is a hoax, it may be that Allen Coon was genuinely the victim of racial harassment in his school, but this cockamamy plan was hatched in order to prove a point that would thus be hopelessly discredited.)

Oh, and to the people behind the "Justice for Allen Coon" Facebook page (I think it's his mother Melissa), I've saved a copy of the page, just in case you decide to change the photo to something else.

UPDATE (8 a.m., HST, Tuesday, March 27, 2012):
For starters, here is a link to the Kansas City, Missouri, police report. Odd that they didn't take the gas container in to test for fingerprints.

Meanwhile, the plot thickens. After I posted this, the opnat-eye updated their site to highlight the photo hoax. Shortly after that, the Justice for Allen Coon FB page removed the hoax photo and left the one with the scales (which had been there before, but not as a profile pic). Above "update" you can see the original and just below you can see what it now looks like. (I also saved an actual archive file of the original page; screen shots are easy to fake, but altering the code of an archived page is far above my pay grade.)

Their site had also been linked to on the Justice for Allen Coon Facebook page by one Annabeth Milosevic, though the link has since been taken down. What's interesting is that after I posted about the photo hoax and left a link at opnat-eye, someone claiming to be "melissa coon" came along and denied being the "Melissa" running the Justice for Allen Facebook page:
I am the mother of Allen Goin not Coon as the media portrays. i am not sure who has been setting up fake pics and pretending to be me. but it is unfair and sad the nation portrays us this way. please contact me 8168782582 if any questions or contact the local kcpd and they can forward the message
Having been the victim of attackers who posted messages while posing as me and even hacking into my blog and getting it shut down for a couple weeks, I am sympathetic to her claim. However, for several reasons, I don't think it holds water. [UPDATE: Despite the following three paragraphs, it appears I was wrong that Melissa of the Facebook page and Melissa the mother were the same person. That comes out in the comments section, but since not everyone reads that far, I wanted to make it clear here.]

First, the timing of "melissa coon's" appearance at opnat-eye and the removal of the hoax photo is in such a narrow window of time that it seems a very unlikely coincidence. Not impossible but not likely.

Secondly, the Facebook page owner also being named Melissa — and making no effort to explain on the Facebook page, until the photo hoax was revealed, that she was a different Melissa — is another odd coincidence that is not impossible but also not terribly likely. Moreover, Justice for Allen Coon Facebook page owner Melissa would have us believe she is merely an interested third party who just has a thirst for justice, but she had been referring to "we" as if she is directly associated with Allen Coon.

And that leads to the third thing. The motivation in putting up a site would be to see justice done (i.e., getting these would-be murderers arrested and punished), but the Melissa running the Facebook page also sets out to get someone fired who was not involved with the gasoline immolation attack.

And that sounds much more like the actions of an angry mother who feels her kid is being repeatedly harassed by students and teachers alike based on his race. In fact, we've seen the real-world Melissa single out Karla Dorsey just like the Justice for Allen Coon Facebook page owner Melissa did:
The boy raised his hand, eager to answer the question. "What would you know about it?" exclaimed the teacher dismissively. "You're not our race."

This was not dialogue from a Hollywood movie. According to a woman named Melissa Coon, it was what a teacher at East High School in Kansas City told her 13-year-old son, Allen, when he attempted to answer a question during Black History Month. Coon identifies that teacher as Mrs. Karla Dorsey, who is black; Allen is white.

As has already been reported, Allen was a victim of a vicious racial attack last week in which two older black teens doused him with gasoline and set him alight, saying, "This is what you deserve. You get what you deserve, white boy." Not surprisingly, Coon has pulled her son out of East High and, concerned about further racial violence, intends to leave the K.C. area.
Again, not impossible that there are two completely different Melissas and that the Facebook one is just doing what the real-world one would want done, but it's also terribly unlikely. (Fake posters typically do malicious things, not act as genies trying to grant your wishes for you.)

So, we have the real Melissa Goin (not Coon, though FB Melissa never uses a last name) claiming she's not Facebook Melissa, but Facebook Melissa put up an incendiary picture purported to be Allen Coon in an effort to gain sympathy for the cause, while also trying to get fired a teacher the real-world Melissa wants to see gone. She also wants, as she says repeatedly in news interviews, for a ticket to another school system.

And that's why all these improbably coincidences add up to this looking like a hoax. I believe Allen Coon really has been bullied or harassed by other kids, and that a lot of it has direct racial overtones. That is terrible and should not be tolerated, but it sounds like someone really tried to underscore that point by fabricating an incident whose nature had not occurred, even though it was feared.

If that is the case, I hope they come clean. Desperation makes people do some extreme things and this has — so far — not yet gotten to the point of no return, like where an innocent person is arrested. Though they would deserve some sanction, I would be very vocal in standing up for them, because of that desperation for which Allen Coon is almost certainly not the cause.

(I want to add a parenthetical comment about race-based abuse. Kushibo, as you may or may not know, is straight out of Compton, but not Black. In my nearly all-Black elementary school, I was harassed and occasionally hit, and it may have had a racial component to it. But Black kids also experienced bullying, and when we moved to mostly-White Orange County, harassment and physical assault still occasionally occurred — in fact the physical stuff was worse than before. See, kids like to ostracize and bully and crap like that, and racial or ethnic differences gives them an easy excuse for doing so. But in the absence of racial or ethnic differences, some other pretext is used, like nerdiness, shortness, haughtiness, etc. This is not to make light of race-based bullying, which needs to be gone from our schools, but nobody has a monopoly on this, either as victim or perpetrator.)

UPDATE 2 (4 p.m. HST, same day):
Basically, go read the comments section. The improbable is apparently the reality, and one Melissa Barber says she is the Melissa who set up the Justice for Allen Coon FB page and is responsible for posting the fake picture.

UPDATE 3 (6 p.m. HST, March 31, 2012):
Because there are those who insist that the hoax photo represents the extent of Allen Goin's actual burns, I've decided to print still shots from news video taken shortly after the attack. Note that his hands show no signs of burns, which would be nearly impossible if he pulled a gasoline-soaked shirt over his head while his head were completely on fire.

Note also that his eyebrows are singed but not completely gone. Lightly singed hair does not indicate one's head was on fire. His surrounding skin barely even shows signs of the first-degree burns (redness comparable to a sunburn) that he reportedly received.

In fact, that skin color is very close to that of his father, who did not suffer any kind of burn at all.

From this news site, a glimpse of his mother and his younger sibling (which belies apologists for the hoax photo who say maybe they couldn't depict a minor in the news story; he was shown staring right into the camera for some seconds, but I decided to obscure his appearance).

Note that the story also says he was home the next day, hardly characteristic of a severe burn victim who had "gasoline poured on his head" and set on fire (the reporter notes he's was in the burn unit "for a few hours" and was lucky to be home so early and even lucky to be alive).

Take all this for whatever it's worth.

UPDATE 4 (11 a.m. HST, April 3, 2012):
Because of a load of misinformation out on the Interwebs, I have decided to print out the actual police report of the incident. Notice that there is no mention whatsoever about the alleged attackers have said a racial epithet of any kind. Either that was added later or it was something the police were told but they deliberately left it out:
Upoon arrival I detected the odor of gasoline and made contact with V1 who stated he observed S1 & S2 follow him home from the stadium located at East High School. When he arrived at his residence he attempted to unlock the front door when S1 prevented him from entering by "bear hugging" V1. V1 stated S2 then grabbed a red gas can, filled with gasoline, and stated "This is what you get."

S2 then produced a lighter and as he tried to light the can on fire he dropped it on the ground spilling gasoline on the ground. S2 was then successful lighting the gasoline which produced a large fireball burning the face and hair of V1. S1 & S2 were last seen running north on Quincy Ave.

V1 stated S1 was a black male wearing a blue hat, blue jacket, and blue shoes with the number 23 on the side. S2 was a black male with a blue hat, black jacket, and glasses. V1 stated both males had facial hair.

I observed a red plastic one gallon container lying on the ground near the chairs leading to the front door of 2222 Quincy Ave. O1 stated he was the owner of the container and that it was left outside on the porch. I observed what appeared to be burns on V1's face along with singed hair. V1 complained of pain to his face and was transported by ambulance to Children's Mercy for medical treatment. While the injuries sustained by V1 were non-life threatening the paramedic and EMT believed he suffered from 1st degree burns.

Due to V1's injuries I notified dispatch to initiative a cascade for the suspects.

O1 is V1's father and stated he wanted to prosecute for assault.

Sgt. Rothert R310A, Detective Nelson, and Detective Taylor from Assault Squad were notified and responded to the scene. Detective Majors from Crimes Against Children was notified from the scene.

Digital photos of V1 and the crime scene were captured using the department's issued digital camera and were placed in the Assault's Squad folder.

/s/ PO Hutchinson 5409
This report, if accurate, does not support the oft repeated description that Allen Goin was "doused with gasoline" or that his head was lit on fire. It specifically dismisses the idea that these were life-threatening injuries and it gives no indication that they were disfiguring (assuming singed hair grows back). In fact, the description that he suffered 2nd degree burns on his nose (the most serious injury I've seen reported in the news) is not supported here (but it is possible the EMTs and the paramedic were wrong that his burns were only first degree).

UPDATE 5 (11 p.m. HST, April 5, 2012):
This would be laughable were it not so serious. The Allen Coon Goin case is gaining some traction on conservatives sites where it is being used as a banner for those who believe the media that couldn't care less about White crime victims and only raises concerns about "hate crime" if a Black is the victim.

And in order to make Allen the equivalent of Trayvon, the exaggeration of his injuries must be maintained. Or, in this case, ratcheted up:
Allen Coon, a student in the predominately black East High School in Kansas City was recently doused with gasoline and set on fire by two older black teenage boys who followed him home from school, apparently to the taunt: “You get what you deserve, white boy!”

Although Coon survived, it is believed he may lose his eyesight. Meanwhile, despite the overt racial component to the crime, local police are investigating to determine IF the incident might correctly be labeled a hate crime, while failing to include Coon’s full statement, i.e. “white boy,” in their incident report.
In other words: "Oh, dear God! The kid may go blind! I came to that idea after reading over-hyped but under-factual accounts of his attack and I took it to the next logical step!"

Seriously, the only ones in danger of going blind from this masturbatory exercise in media distortion are those who willingly close their eyes to anything other than the incendiary narrative that suits their purposes.

As for the police who "failed" to include the "white boy" taunt in their incident report, commenter Steven Milledge cites a Kansas City radio program that interviewed Allen Goin's mother, Melissa Coon, in which she states that her son didn't mention the "white boy" comment to the police but that he told her later at the hospital (audio here).

If true, that is odd that he would not reveal that kind of information, particularly when the police at the time (?) said they would look into it as a hate crime.

... Sphere: Related Content

76 comments:

  1. LOL, who cares what the picture is? They're using 4 and 5 year old pictures of Trayvon to ignight the media. Why don't you dig in that case to see what really happened smart one?

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    1. Anonymous, your statement and sentiment are horribly, horribly misguided.

      If you see the world as an Allen-versus-Trayvon way, you are doing yourself a terrible disservice.

      Trayvon Martin's killing is a tragedy borne of racial animus (evidence, for example, by Mr Zimmerman's reference to "fuckin' coons" as he was tracking Trayvon).

      And if what his mother is telling us is true, the attack on Allen is also a terrible incident borne of racial animus.

      You see, they both are. Anyone should see that what happened to Trayvon Martin should not have happened, and then be disgusted with the way some conservatives have tried to tear down his reputation, as if Trayvon's multi-day suspension for having an empty pot bag, for example, was something Mr Zimmerman knew or somehow justified his actions.

      And if the Allen Coon story is not a hoax, it should evoke outrage about why it happened. And I've said above that even if it is a hoax, I believe it is borne from the frustration of Allen having been target of race-based harassment, which is wholly unacceptable.

      But even if I say they are both tragedies, they are not same-same. For starters, while Trayvon and Allen are both innocent victims, Allen is alive and Trayvon is not. Allen's case, from what we can see, if being actively investigated by the police, whereas it took a movement to get the police to do something in Trayvon's case.

      Not at all the same, except that they both are borne from racial animus. And the tragedy compounded on the original tragedy is that instead of having a learning moment and a chance for mature dialogue, both cases have caused a bunch of people to hunker into their own corners and just shout "racist!" at the other.

      Well, they're all frickin' racists.

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    2. Kushibo- AMEN. Unfortunately, many many on both "sides" are motivated by defensiveness or fear and neither allow for rational thinking.

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  2. Why are you not approving my comments?

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    1. Are you the same Anonymous as above? I was approving them through the mail app on my iPhone, but for some reason it didn't go through.

      Iv'e got business on the other side of the island today, and since I finally sat down, I've approved everything in the inbox. If something's missing, let me know. I appreciate your comments.

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  3. It's interesting how some on the right would use the image of an Afghan burn victim for their own purposes when they would probably sympathize with U.S. soldiers if they were responsible. Same picture, different reactions. Racism does exist and should not be swept away because it makes them feel "white guilt". It is pathetic that Melissa, whoever she is, would choose to doctor false images so that she could get more sympathy for the kid. She is only undermining her own credibility and weakening the case by adding more questions that were not there before.

    Bullying happens to kids of all races, but you certainly can't deny that minorities do get it more than white kids. White kids who are fat or nerdy may get bullied. But "normal" kids who are neither can be a target just by virtue of being a minority.

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    1. I agree that it's interesting that an Afghan woman was chosen to represent "the classic all-American white boy," as his mother describes him in the American Thinker link above.

      And while I agree with you that racism shouldn't be swept aside just because it makes us feel bad, I want to point out that, for Whites in America who find themselves uncommon minorities, race-based bullying and harassment can be quite common, as common as it is for Asians, Hispanics, and Blacks who find them living in similar numbers.

      But even in those areas, it is not the majority of Blacks (or whatever non-Whites) doing the harassment or the bullying. As is the case with racist White bullies as well, it is a small number doing the vast majority of the harm.

      Indeed, it is nearly a universal, whether the beleaguered minority member is White, Asian, Black, Hispanic, or whatever.

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    2. And the other thing I really hope people would get out of these situations is that, you know what, if you are White (not you itissaid, but a general you) then you should not feel like Trayvon's killing implicates you.

      Why should it? Just because you're White? I reject the notion that only those in power can be racist, if for no other reason than an individual can have "local" power. Think Reginald Denny, whose head was smashed in at Ground Zero in South Central Los Angeles during the L.A. riots of 1992 solely because he was White.

      But I think some people think they are under siege — "I'm being blamed for Zimmerman's alleged racism because I'm White!" — because they themselves think all Blacks are responsible for the actions of the Blacks who are engaging in race-based violence.

      It's absurd. Highlighting Trayvon's killing and Zimmerman walking is not about blaming Whites (or Hispanics), but about putting an end to the phenomenon of "driving/walking/breathing while Black" (or while Asian or Hispanic). By pointing it out in an egregious case like this, then it can be put on display and maybe some will think about whether they do this or not.

      (It's also about the phenomenon of crimes where the victim is Black — regardless of the race of the perpetrator, including Black-on-Black violence — being neglected or getting short shrift by the authorities.

      Going back to the Rodney King incident, many Whites were shocked that that kind of beating could happen by the police, whereas Blacks were shocked that it took so long for it to finally be captured so vividly in a (reasonably) objective medium.

      Ditto with Trayvon Martin, because that whole "driving/walking/breathing while Black" is not a new thing invented by the media; it's a phenomenon dealt with every day.

      Few Whites get that, except for maybe the Whites who walk around Seoul hand in hand with their Korean girlfriend and incur the nastiness of uncouth ajŏshi (this is a Korea blog, folks, so I had to get that in).

      That's what "racial transparency" is all about.

      Anyway, Reginald Denny forgave his attackers. Which means he either has the heart of a saint, or they hit him really, really hard.

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    3. ghttp://www2.wnct.com/news/2011/apr/27/teenage-prank-ends-with-shots-fired-in-q-11802-vi-31808/ that is a link to my story that happened a year ago.

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    4. That's a terrible situation, MBarber. Your son is lucky he didn't get hurt, but I certainly don't think someone deserves to lose their life over a prank.

      In California we TP'd houses, and I'd hate to think that could have gotten us shot.

      In some ways, the guy who chased down your son and his friend reminds me of Mr Zimmerman, going far away from where they should be in pursuit of someone who was not as much a danger to warrant how they were reacting. Not after a block and a half, certainly.

      Glad your son is okay.

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    5. "kushiboMar 27, 2012 06:31 PM

      I agree that it's interesting that an Afghan woman was chosen to represent "the classic all-American white boy," as his mother describes him in the American Thinker link above. "

      quoting you above, a media source mislabled that pic as Allen's but it wasn't it was a mistake, it has been corrected and fixed, apologized for. You say you are a serious news blog for a korea, then why are so you concerned with us in the U.S.?

      ~RC admin and creator of Justice for Allen Goin page,

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    6. quoting you above, a media source mislabled that pic as Allen's but it wasn't it was a mistake, it has been corrected and fixed, apologized for.

      It is terribly implausible that that kind of thing was merely "mislabeled." That's one of those things people say to wiggle out of responsibility, but if one looks at the claim just a little, it's difficult to see how that could have actually played out that way.

      Did they have a picture of the Afghan woman from two or three years ago in a folder of pictures of Allen Goin and they —whoops!— picked the wrong one? Highly implausible.

      No, there was no "mistake." Someone sought a picture of a burn victim to put on their post/article about "Allen Coon" and found this one (probably through a Google search of "burn victim in hospital" or some such) and put in the post/article knowing full well that it was not Allen Goin.

      I will cut some slack to those who followed suit, such as MBarber who should have done due diligence before making that the profile picture of the FB page, because they would have found the deliberately falsely labeled picture somewhere else and not known immediately that it was false.

      You say you are a serious news blog for a korea, then why are so you concerned with us in the U.S.?

      Because I'm a US citizen and I currently reside in the US (state of Hawaii). My blog description also notes that I write up stuff about Orange County and the Aloha State, but things of national interest are my purview as well.

      I saw Allen Goin's case cited over and over and over again in conservative blogs where it was being used to counter the Trayvon Martin case, as if one egregious act means another egregious act shouldn't garner our attention.

      I thought there might be some there there, so when I looked into it (I had to Google it, though, because no one wrote a name, just said something like, "that white kid in Kansas City who had gas poured all over him and then was set on fire by the black kids saying racial stuff."

      And when I looked into the story, starting with what turned out to be a fake picture, I started to question the rest of the story. That the story being repeated over and over again in the news media and then in social media (blogs, comments sections, etc.) does not match the police report (which I've added to the main post in an update) is another huge red flag.

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  4. It wasn't the mother posting, it was me.. Melissa Barber and I'm not the owner of the page, just made an admin. to help the man who made the page. I found the picture on google and should have done more reasearch on the the picture before assuming it was really him. This is an issue close to my heart and I honestly felt for this mother who couldn't get her story out there. I have made my confession on the Justice page, you can screen shot that, and take your post down about Melissa Coon and make it about me. Thanks

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    1. Melissa, I appreciate your candor and coming forward. I guess the improbable (but not impossible) really is the case this time.

      That said, I'm not going to take this down, but I will (when I get home) update this to highlight what you're saying.

      You see, this is part of the record, the history of this case, including the questionable stuff. I went through no small amount of work to uncover the photo hoax, and that's what it was a hoax.

      I'm glad you came forward and were honest, but that doesn't let you off the hook. You deliberately took an incendiary picture you knew was not Allen Goin/Coon and passed it off as if it were. That was a knowing and deliberate act, not a mistake or an oversight.

      Thousands of people across the country saw your fake photo and assumed the situation was much worse than it actually was. It was wrong and manipulative. I've worked in journalism in various capacities for over ten years, and if someone under me had done something like this, they would have been fired on the spot.

      At the same time, I'll admit that I still find something fishy about this whole case, and if your photo hoax isn't evidence of something fishy, it's at least a symptom of it.

      And for that reason, I can't in good conscience take anything down here. If you are being honest and Ms Melissa Coon is being honest, people will be able to wade through this and decide for themselves. I have presented what I've written as opinions and facts as I knew them at the time, and I described them as such. I've not done any of this out of malice and, as I've made clear, I think that even if this turns out to be a deliberate hoax, I believe it is borne from desperation over actual race-based incidents where Allen Goin/Coon has been a victim.

      (In fact, that scenario is my working theory right now, for reasons I may get into later.)

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    2. The photo was labeled as Allen way before I found it. And while I learned my lesson about getting upset over something I don't have all of the facts for, I have been through a situation similar to what Melissa Coon says her son is. (not the hate crime) but similar and I would have appreciated help in getting a story out about it, instead of being pushed under the rug. I have apologized to the mother and family. The owner of the page is shutting that one down so he can open one with the real name on it. If I have to answer for my "crime" then so be it, that is what a Lawyer is for. Do I feel bad for trying to help her? No, but I do regret putting that picture up before finding out if it was really him.

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    3. Do you recall where you got the picture from? I'd like to get to the bottom of that; I found it here and there in reference to Allen Goin/Coon, but wasn't sure which one posted it first (and thought it might have been from the FB site first).

      My sympathy goes out to you for whatever it was that happened to you and caused you to empathize with Allen's situation.

      I don't think you'll need a lawyer; though I think it was poor judgement, we are all guilty of that at one time or another, and the thing to do is take it as a learning experience. If it were up to me, I'd rather hire someone who screwed up, took ownership of the screw-up and made amends than someone who tried to hide it and pretend it didn't happen.

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  5. And whomever is writing this blog is welcome to email me or find me on fb and I will tell you personally it was not her.

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    1. I may do that, but for now, I'm taking your admission at face value. And like I said, I appreciate your candor. It's hard for people to come forward and say, "I'm the one who messed up," and it's refreshing when people do that.

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  6. Well, that's what you get for posting irresponsibly on the internet. DO YOUR RESEARCH before you claim anything. You ASSUME things without checking them out and spread your ignorance to the rest of the world. This is a serious criminal claim that has SERIOUS consequences. The police have used Facebook as evidence in criminal cases as well as text messages and online information. Even if it weren't a criminal matter, you really should watch what you put out there because people can take it seriously and cause situations that you would never imagine. You should really think before you say or post anything.

    Where is your retraction that you posted a pic of an Afghan victim and NOT Allen Coon? I hope this post stays up so that people can continue to be critical of what you write/post.

    I know that I wouldn't like it if I were associated with the Afghan victim, seeing how the picture was used for nebulous political purposes and to distort a real situation affecting REAL INDIVIDUALS. The criminals should get their fair due, but you really interfered with the process by adding all this fake "evidence". Crimes that are publicized often get tried in the media, affecting the jury selection pool. How is the judge supposed to select unbiased jurors when almost everyone has probably seen the "evidence" out there? You may not think that is important, but the jury of public opinion does affect individual jurors and puts pressure on them to realize a socially accepted verdict. If you cannot help a situation, just STAY OUT OF IT. Let the professionals do their job.

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    1. I agree with itissaid. The repercussions of knowingly using a fake photo are great.

      And there's no small amount of irony involved when detractors of Trayvon Martin vehemently complain that the media is showing old pictures of Trayvon that don't show the 140-pound wisp in his 6'3" teenage glory, as if his height alone made him an actual threat to the 250-pound Zimmerman who had a gun.

      Again, there are differences here. A two- or three-year-old picture of Trayvon is still a picture of Trayvon, whereas this sympathy- and anger-inducing hoax picture was most definitely not representative of Allen Goin/Coon in any way, shape, or form.

      Delete
    2. Spike Lee adds fuel to the fire by tweeting the wrong address of Martin's shooter.

      http://www.eonline.com/news/spike_lee_mistakenly_links_elderly/304532?cmpid=rss-000000-rssfeed-365-celebritynews&utm_source=eonline&utm_medium=rssfeeds&utm_campaign=rss_celebritynews

      http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-03-27/news/os-trayvon-martin-wrong-zimmerman-20120327_1_tweets-heart-condition-twitter

      This is what can happen when you put out the wrong information unwittingly.

      Delete
    3. "Is it okay to distort or make up facts in order to support what you believe to be some larger truth? And at what cost?"

      "And here, for me, is the fallout from Daisey’s relativism: in his quest to inject more drama into his story, he undermined whatever real drama exists out there at Foxconn, and I’m sure there is some. Massive lead poisoning in Shaanxi province? Melamine in baby formula?

      It’s not a stretch to believe there was plenty of exploitation going on at Foxconn that Daisey could’ve written about.

      But for any China apologists looking for credible cover with which to defend the country’s treatment of its workers, they now have it in this western monologist who made up stuff, stuff like the old man who worked at Foxconn assembling iPads, where his hand was mangled into an all but useless claw in an accident. According to Daisey, the man had never seen one of the machines he helped build actually turned on (presumably there was no time for that while he was being maimed). When Daisey handed him the tablet for the first time and he touched it, and saw icons moving, the old man, with eyes watering, pronounced it “magic.”

      It’s tear jerking stuff, and it’s all bullshit. Daisey admits it. He describes it as some sort of amalgam of stories he heard from other people, his own experiences, and, I dunno, fairy dust."

      http://youoffendmeyouoffendmyfamily.com/liar-liar-pants-on-fire/

      "Point is this: now people can say that any negative claims about working conditions in China are suspect because of Daisey’s fabrications. If he lied once, who knows how many times he lied? Who knows how many other “journalists” make stuff up?

      “The essential idea is true,” counters Daisey."

      Delete
    4. Thanks for those examples of the dangers of putting out incorrect information — whether deliberately, inadvertently, or just plain sloppily — for public consumption.

      I actually have been planning to write something up about fake Foxconn stuff, but haven't had time yet to get to it.

      Delete
    5. Spike was sued and later settled with the elderly couple that he endangered by retweeting their address.

      Delete
  7. So, maybe you should remove the whole blog post, since assuming got you in the same boat as me.. you shouldn't have assumed it was Melissa Coon just like I shouldn't have assumed that picture was really of Allen. I was actually doing something out of the goodness of my heart.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For the reasons I mentioned above, I don't think that's a good idea at all. I will leave it up as an object lesson.

      Please see it as a learning opportunity. Take a mulligan and be much more careful in the future.

      Like I said, I think it takes some guts to come forward to strangers in an open forum and offer up your real name and say, "This was my mistake."

      But this consequences of this are too great to just press the DELETE button, but if you ever get any crap or grief over this, Ms Barber, I will be happy to put in a good word for you as someone who takes responsibilities for her errors.

      Delete
  8. I didn't start the page, I just started helping with it on Saturday night, the man who started needed help getting the story out. I did put the picture up there, but didn't make the page. As for my sons case it's been a year and all charges were dropped except simple assualt. So,so sad.. that's why I am glad Trayvons parents took to the media. In my opinion the 17 year old was walking down the street minding his own business... but that's another can of worms... Thank you for not crucifying me.. :))

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nothing about this adds up from what I've gathered. I doubt that it was a hoax as I believe the boy really was burned- however, there are so many things that just don't go. For instance, how would a gasoline soaked shirt be able to put out a fire?

    One thing that I can tell you- Gas Fumes ignite into a rising fireball. Liquid gasoline burns. It's really easy to blame random black people for an incident that you accidentally did to yourself. But I guess if the idea was to rile up angry people and attempt to cause another version of Nazi Germany, then you're on your way there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In some of the links I provided (can't remember which one), someone explains that the oft-repeated "doused with gasoline" detail was in fact false. Some gas spilled or something, and that jives with what you said about gas fumes exploding.

      What happened could not have possibly done to his face what happened to the Afghan woman in the hoax picture, but that's the photo being used at various sites because it drums up sympathy. If people saw the limited extent of his actual injuries (redness from first-degree burns, which basically is defined as redness due to exposure, like a sunburn) and singed eyelashes, I guess there would be less support.

      However, if this attack really went down way it has been described, particularly the race-based bullying aspect, then it is a case like many others in this country that need to be addressed.

      It still is very different from the Trayvon Martin killing, the underpinnings of which (i.e., the problems of "driving/walking/breathing while Black") are very real and cause a great many problems on a regular basis for millions of law-abiding people.

      Delete
  10. Do not take this Blog down. There is far to much value in seeing how people try to spin stories for political reasons. Melissa Barber, and the guy who started the page should be ashamed for using a fake account. I'm highly suspicious of this whole "Alex Coon" incident. I won't take it on face-value and I believe it is a hoax. It's far to convenient that now all of a new hate crime just emerged for detractors to say "We shouldn't pay attention to the Martin Case, we should focus on this Case". Plenty of attention was given to the Casey Anothony Case. It would be a damn shame if another person who murdered somebody walked away without some kind of justice. There just happened to be a gas tank on the porch? Do you really expect people to believe this bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For the record, although I have doubts about the attack on Allen Goin/Coon having happened the way it was described, I believe Melissa Barber (MBarber in the comments here) when she says that she and not Melissa Coon set up the Facebook page.

      Unless I see evidence to the contrary, I have no reason to believe Melissa Coon herself had anything to do with the Justice for Allen Coon Facebook page.

      I would, however, like to get to the bottom of why the hoax photo was initially used in the publicizing of this case. It continues to be used on other sites, and I've encountered some hostility when pointing out that the photo is fake and that the accounts of him having been "doused with gasoline" are also apparently inaccurate.

      The various ways in which the details of this story and especially the outcome are nowhere as severe as they are conveyed in various forums (I mention myself that I had the impression Allen Goin/Coon had been horribly disfigured) erode credibility in the rest of the story. As it stands now, I believe Allen Goin/Coon has been harassed by students and possibly teachers because he is White, but there are niggling doubts about the nature of the attack and who was behind it.

      By all accounts, Kansas City PD has been diligently investigating this, but so far we do not have any arrests, even though the pool of potential subjects would seem to be extremely small. That tells me something, but maybe I've gotten it wrong that KCPD is being cooperative. And no, them saying they don't have evidence that it was racially motivated does not mean they're not being cooperative.

      The gas container itself is a very odd detail. Both why it was conveniently there (as you mention), and why it was not taken in by the police for fingerprints (can you get fingerprints off of that kind of plastic?).

      Having been bullied by Black kids (in Compton) and White kids (in Orange County), I also find it unusual that they would not have been deterred in broad daylight from following Allen right up to his front door. It's by no means impossible or even hopelessly unlikely, but bullies thrive on their activities not being seen by people in authority (e.g., teachers, parents, or even neighbors). Walking right up to his door risks that. (Theft and burglary are a different matter, but that's not apparently what was going on here.)

      Something about the story seems fishy, even though I believe Allen has been experiencing race-based harassment and possibly even bullying.

      Delete
    2. The page was started before I joined it and offered to help him on Saturday. I put the false picture up on Sunday beleiving it was him. As soon as I was informed it wasn't him I took it down and apologized for it. That page has only been up 5 days at the most. I don't know who originally started using the pic, but if you google Allens name it comes up. Again, my fault for asuuming. AND FOR THE RECORD I DIDN'T START THE PAGE, I was helping the admin. ... and no I'm not ashamed for helping out for a cause that I felt sorry for the mother.

      Delete
    3. I also help out with several Justice pages for Trayvon also and no matter how that case comes out, I won't be ashamed of that either.

      Delete
  11. "I also find it unusual that they would not have been deterred in broad daylight from following Allen right up to his front door"
    Do you understand what MANY of the white kids in that area go thru? There are no rallies for that. There is a problem with racism -> the ignorance and bias of it all is the biggest part of the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My name is Richard, and I am the guy who started the Justice for Allen Coon (which has changed to Allen Goin to correct Media errors, BC the media, doesn't always get it right,)
    Started the page on Friday evening last week, and Melissa Barber, from the east coast, volunteered to help keep the ugliness, racist comments and vulgarity off the page. Melissa Barber doesn't live anywhere near me nor Melissa Coon, who lives in Kansas City, MO, where the story took place. The news links and interviews prove the story is not a hoax. No one is spinning the story. The picture that was previously posted on the page, was mistakenly done, BC a source said it was Allen but it wasn't, as soon as we realized it, it was removed, and you can see very plainly from the dialogue where Allen's Mom found our facebook support page. Because we have been misinformed by the media, and news sources we have had to make some changes and corrections. There are no fake profiles. Just a couple of honest mistakes made by others. I really thank you for taking the time to criticise our grass roots independant attempt to show some support for Allen, his last name is actually GOIN not COON. The media reported his last name was COON, but they were wrong. You posted that his last name was "COON but sometimes referred to as GOIN", so infact you have gotten wrong just like we did, except we are trying to help, and ensure justice for Allen since the main stream media has the Trayvon Case covered. I am a religious man, and I attend church with black people. No one that supports our effort is racist. I just wanted to help Allen. Contact us on the page if you have any questions using your actual facebook. Do your research before slamming people and calling us a hoax. Don't you have something better to do with your time? ADMIN~RC

    ReplyDelete
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    1. While I appreciate you coming here to give your side of the story, Admin, you are getting off on the wrong foot with your tone. Your site is the one propagated the hoax photo, and I'm the one who discovered it. That to me, sir, is time well spent.

      Instead of attacking me, you need to ask some hard questions, like why someone has put forth the hoax photo in the first place for sites like yours and many others to reproduce as a grossly inaccurate depiction of events.

      I think you also need to stop blaming the media for the mistakes being made here. "The media" didn't put up the hoax photo, and the first reports I read about this listed the victim as Allen Goin. I became confused only after seeing his name written as Allen Coon on blogs and social media supporting him.

      Please also note that I was not criticizing your site for its support of Allen. I was criticizing it for putting forward a hoax photo (and since I discovered that was a mistake without malicious intent on the part of MBarber, I think I've been rather forgiving of her mistake, even if I think it represents a serious problem).

      Not only do I not criticize you for supporting Allen Goin, I think it is admirable that people like you and MBarber are taking the time to help someone you feel is in need, and I find it very sad that you would have to stave off "ugliness, racist comments and vulgarity." I have no reason to believe that you or MBarber are sock puppets for someone else behind the scenes.

      Unfortunately, the two boys' cases, both apparently stemming from egregious race-based sentiment, have become proxies in a wider culture war, and that drowns out what's really going on.

      Like it or not, people are spinning Allen's story. That's precisely why the Afghan burn woman's photo had been co-opted to depict Allen Goin. That's why the "doused with gasoline" story is repeated even though that detail is apparently inaccurate as well.

      In an effort to make Allen's story the moral equivalent of Trayvon's killing, which it never can be, the real issue of race-based bullying and harassment that can turn violent (even though it's bad enough by itself and deserves attention) is being muddled and obscured.

      Delete
    2. HERE is one of the early reports I saw where he was referred to as Allen Goin, not Allen Coon.

      Delete
  13. I don't give two hoots whether it was the wrong picture. The point is that an innocent boy was set alight by two blacks for no reason other than that he's white and there's no publicity at all, which is indicative of bias on the part of the media. You're busy dragging red herrings around, but it doesn't mask the stink.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The wrong picture is a symptom of a wider problem with this story, not only that it has been exaggerated by conservative media into something more severe than it is, but also that even the KCPD have held back on describing it as a race-based hate crime (and I suspect that's because they have doubts about the facts presented to them).

      By contrast, this is a story that deserves to get a lot of attention.

      But not as another antidote to the Trayvon Martin killing. If you see anyone using this story as a justification for what happened in Florida, that is someone not worth listening to.

      Sadly, though, that is probably what will happen with some people. Good, reasonable conservatives need to nip that in the bud.

      Delete
  14. You seem to act like we intentionally tried to deceive the public, and we did not, you called it a hoax photo. You are infact not the one that discovered it, Allen's Mom told us about it. We fixed it, and apologized. From stuff i've read on your page, you seem to think all white american's are racist, redneck hicks. That is hardly the case, most white people aren't racist. We aren't and we are sorry that slavery and all that happened but there isn't a thing we can do about it, and we shouldn't feel guilty about something we didn't do now will we ever have to answer for in the after life. You messed up and made assumptions, you guessed and made mistakes. Yet all you can is try to call us out. You really really need to quit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are wrong on several counts. First off, ...

      You seem to act like we intentionally tried to deceive the public, and we did not, you called it a hoax photo.

      I have acknowledged several times now that I believe MBarber, who helps you with the FB page, when she says that she put up the fake photo believing it was actually Allen Goin. Her mistake, as she acknowledges and I agree, was in not fact-checking before using fake picture as the profile pic.

      You are infact not the one that discovered it, Allen's Mom told us about it. We fixed it, and apologized.

      I believe you have that wrong. The timeline of Melissa Coon's visits to opnat-eye, which discovered through me that the photo was fake, indicates she discovered this through his site, or at the very least after I did and then opnat-eye was aware of it and posted as much at your Facebook site.

      From stuff i've read on your page, you seem to think all white american's are racist, redneck hicks.

      Pray tell, what have I written that makes you think so?

      That is hardly the case, most white people aren't racist. We aren't and we are sorry that slavery and all that happened but there isn't a thing we can do about it, and we shouldn't feel guilty about something we didn't do now will we ever have to answer for in the after life. You messed up and made assumptions, you guessed and made mistakes. Yet all you can is try to call us out. You really really need to quit.

      What on Earth are you going on about? Methinks you've got my words and my message confused with someone else's (or what you think is someone else's).

      What does slavery have to do with this case?

      Who is being made to feel guilty about what?

      Delete
  15. Those who are blogging about this story should proceed with caution. You are not journalists and are not protected from civil lawsuits when you make statements you cannot prove.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The same goes for the original Facebook page. As long as one is able to verify their statements with credible sources, then there should be no problem. The problem occurs when one doctors the "evidence".

      Telling people that they can be sued without a credible argument is just a scare tactic to keep others from blogging. Everyone has free speech and everyone is accountable for their speech at the same time. But it's obviously not your motive to enlighten, but scare. Stating an opinion based on news reports cannot hold up in court and I dare you to find a judge that will agree to put it to trial.

      Delete
    2. Kushibo: Do you have a link debnking the "hate crime" in Florida; Do you watch un-edited videos; have you wondered why the DOJ was called and there have been no arrest or charges against Zimmerman? Why dont you use your deputy doopey-doo skills to put out that made-up, hate-filled, media sensation fire instead of trying to be a detective in a case you know nothing about? A picture was posted that was not Allen. The media called him Coon, instead of Goin because Coon is his mother's name. I guess dismissing Allen's case as a hoax only makes your white-devil agenda stronger huh? The media has hugely outblown the Trayvon Martin case. White on black, black on white, and black on black, etc. crime happens everyday in every city. The dork in an empty suit that should be in an outhouse, not our White House, had to comment on this for his "african americans" campaign agenda. I hope this and the only thing he has done besides create class/gender/race warfare and quadruple our debt (ObamaCare) slaps him in the face. Yeah. It is political - other wise, you would not also be so interested in it, would you?

      Honestly, I do not know why I even took my time to reply to your silly gibberish you call a blog. The FBI has the facts, which the number to them is posted on the page. You do not call the FBI with hoax - why don't you try it? So take your hoax theory and shove it where the sun does not shine and spend your time trying to make a difference in the world, not tearing down those people that have different view than that of you. IE: Get a Real Life :)

      Delete
    3. I actually am a journalist.

      Go ahead and present me with a civil lawsuit, because I would countersue and I could really use the money.

      I have presented facts as they are, I have labeled opinions and suspicions as such. The question mark in the subject header means I am not stating this is a hoax, but wondering if it is, and that is followed by some legitimate reasons for having doubts about this case.

      Note, though, I have been rather sympathetic to Allen Goin's plight, as I have stated several times that I believe he has been the target of race-based harassment and perhaps physical bullying as well even fi this all turned out to be a hoax. I would even stand up for Allen Goin if that turned out to be the case (I'd even go to bat for his mom).

      But again, I'm not making a statement that it is. Rather, I've been pointing out that there are some big-arse question marks to this story, starting with the hoax photo, but also including the exaggerated description of the attack in the news media and blogs compared to the police report, the utter absence of any mention of a racial epithet in the police report, the way in which no suspects have been found despite what would seem a very small pool of potential suspects, and the fact that the KDPD left the gas can where it was instead of taking it in as evidence.

      Delete
    4. Brenda, what do Obama, Trayvon Martin, Obamacare, etc., have to do with whether or not this case is a hoax or not or whether some reported elements of it are not true?

      And what "white-devil agenda" do I have?

      As for your claim that "the media called him Coon," the media outlets I saw referred to him as Allen Goin." It was the blogs and other social media taking up his cause as a shield in the Trayvon Martin brouhaha that got his name wrong.

      And you say you do not call the FBI with a hoax, yet people end up doing this all the time. Susan Smith is probably the most famous example of such a thing (and in no way an analogy to Ms Melissa Coon, since Susan Smith is a murderous monster who killed her two children, while Ms Coon is extremely protective of hers and wants her kids out of a school system where she feels they are being racially harassed).

      But again, I'm not saying it is a hoax, only that I have strong doubts about this very public case.

      Now watch as itissaid chides me for not getting medieval on your for the wholly irrational portions of your wildly inappropriate comments.

      Delete
    5. A simple search reveals Allen Coon and Goin with dates. It is not hard and as your threads consistently attempt to dismiss this case as if it is not a sign of the times fueled by liberal politics and liberal, biased media, but a hoax that is missing some parts, a mother that is lying, and this story is being used as a retribution for the Trayvon Martin case. Wake up.

      itissaid said, "Well, that's what you get for posting irresponsibly on the internet. DO YOUR RESEARCH before you claim anything. You ASSUME things without checking them out and spread your ignorance to the rest of the world."

      I suggest you both take this advice. Chow.

      Delete
    6. Brenda,

      The dork in an empty suit that should be in an outhouse, not our White House, had to comment on this for his "african americans" campaign agenda. I hope this and the only thing he has done besides create class/gender/race warfare and quadruple our debt (ObamaCare) slaps him in the face.
      . . . .
      spend your time trying to make a difference in the world, not tearing down those people that have different view than that of you. IE: Get a Real Life :)

      Kushibo,

      Now watch as itissaid chides me for not getting medieval on your for the wholly irrational portions of your wildly inappropriate comments.

      ?

      Nothing wrong with having an opinion substantiated by facts :)

      Delete
  16. I have updated this post with the text of the actual incident report from KCPD (update 4). I'll get around to responding to some of the recent comments later on, but today's a busy day in the real world for me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's sickening how the conservative blogosphere jumped on this, drawing an equivalence between the killing of Trayvon Martin and the "attack" on Allen Goin. Goin is just fine, as this picture from St. Patrick's Day a few weeks after the "attack" illustrates: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=381483358551574&set=a.381483318551578.99974.378142435552333&type=1&theater

    His mother seems to revel in the attention. His story of the attack seems very fishy -- why can't he identify the kids who did it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree with you. One peek at her personal fb tells you all you need to know about this case. The woman is craving the attention. I don't beleive a word of it anymore. I think the kid was playing with fire and got burnt (pun intended) was scared to tell his crazy mother what really happened, so he made up this crap. I hope she is punished for lying.

      Delete
    2. In response to your reply anonymous. they already have suspects in mind. I happen to be the mother and unless you were on my facebook page you would see i am a strong advocate for my son. I spoke to the FBI two days ago and i will be contacting them about the blog. As to your comment about me being crazy if your child was attacked and this happened to them you would be in the same position. He has not had the opportunity to look at the picture lineup yet and as to all the pictures and everything on this site. Justice will be served. If any questions i will be more than happy to speak to you thru the victims crime advocate or at the kcpd or the local FBI office downtown. they can verify all you need to know.

      Delete
    3. I should have written this before, but I've been very busy the past few days. It's not a clear line, but I don't want to cross into territory where anyone is engaging in character assassination. I'd like to deal with facts and speculation about facts (when stated as such), and getting into things like "seems to revel in the attention" seems to me to be going too far.

      This has happened with the Trayvon Martin family, where it has been quite egregious, and it shouldn't happen here. That said, I don't like to take things down once they're up, but instead hopefully just add a note or amend them.

      I have not looked at their FB page, and I don't want to do that to draw conclusions about Allen Goin, his mother, his father, etc.

      That said, the picture supposedly taken three weeks later (and not 49 weeks earlier) does seem to reveal a kid with no apparent injury on his face. This would be consistent with first-degree burns (redness) and singed hair, but not with second-degree burns or third-degree burns (which one would expect from an attack as this has repeatedly been described).

      Anonymous, what I said about character assassination goes double for your comment. Even if key elements of the case turn out to be not true, I do believe Allen Goin has experienced race-based harassment and bullying, and mothers can be fiercely protective of their kids in situations like that, and that's how I see her.

      Delete
  18. The reason Allen's mom is standing up for him is because of the media black out, and hateful idiots and morons like the ones this page. Its sad the way some of y'all are so quick to judge. All of you are far from perfect, and its amazing how "nate" can fuel such crap. You and the others that have posted all this negative crap, shows your ill intentions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think Allen's mom is standing up for him because of the media blackout; she's standing up for him because she's his mom.

      I think others, such as the Facebook page people, are standing up for him because they think his egregious story deserves to be aired, with some of them angered even more so in that the Trayvon Martin case has been getting so much attention.

      And no, I was not "quick to judge." I came to this story thinking there was some there there, since I kept reading about it in so many places. You see, there has been a phenomenon where other news in the same time frame has been pushed aside, like the disappearance of Sierra LaMar and how the police and her school possibly botched it (not informing the parents immediately and assuming she had just run away despite a lack of indicators of such). See, I came to this story because I had heard that there was some terrific injustice being done and I wanted to know about it.

      And then I read further and saw things didn't add up, starting with the hoax photo and the "doused with gasoline" and set on fire yet having no discernible signs of such an attack.

      And I am not fueling crap, negative or otherwise. I have said repeatedly that I believe Allen Goin — whether or not this attack is a hoax or some elements are untrue — has been a victim of race-based harassment and possibly bullying, and that is something that should not stand. I've even gone so far to say that, if this does turn out to be a hoax, it would have been something out of desperation over such race-based harassment and bullying, and I'd stand up for Allen Goin and even his mother.

      So I want two things: the truth, and people to stop using this case as a counter to Trayvon Martin's killing. Even if everything about the racial epithet is true, these two are egregious cases but for very different reasons, and one does not negate the other.

      Delete
  19. Melissa Coon, I appreciate you took the time to come here. In addition to addressing your comments, I'd also like to ask a few questions about them. Of course, you don't have to answer, but I hope you'll see I'm trying to be fair.

    You wrote:
    In response to your reply anonymous. they already have suspects in mind.

    If so, do you know why they haven't been arrested yet? Why hasn't your son yet had the chance to positively identify them? Why is this taking so long when there is such a small pool of potential suspects?

    The lack of progress in this case seems to point in one of two general directions: either KCPD didn't really feel the attack (or at least the racial epithet) was credible, or they are simply neglecting this case even though it may be a violent hate crime. Do you feel that KCPD has been dragging their feet and not taking this seriously?

    Did your son know these two teenagers (i.e., has he ever seen them before?) and had he had trouble with them before?

    Why didn't the police take the gas can in as evidence? Did they at least take fingerprints off of the gas can?

    Was it your gas can and was it already in the front area of your house when your son came home?

    Why doesn't the police report include any mention of the "you get what you deserve, white boy" comments or something else that would indicate that racial animus was a key part of this attack?

    What else should we know this (that you can tell us) that might help dispel doubts?

    I happen to be the mother and unless you were on my facebook page you would see i am a strong advocate for my son.

    I have no doubt about that and I have stated as much.

    I spoke to the FBI two days ago and i will be contacting them about the blog.Pray tell, about what? Perhaps Anonymous's (the Justice for Allen Goin FB page admin's?) threat that I "should proceed with caution" lest I get a civil lawsuit has gotten me a little riled, but that sounds like a veiled threat to curb my freedom of speech.

    I do not have the right to write false statements about you, but I do have a right to air my opinions about what is a story that is widely discussed in public forums (which is how I found out about this case in the first place). I have laid out some facts that others did not have, I have presented opinions, questions, and doubts, but they are clearly labeled as opinions, questions, and doubts.

    I have sympathy for you wanting to protect your child. I wouldn't want my child to be experiencing race-based harassment or bullying and certainly not an attack of any kind, but you chose to have this story put out in television media and you should expect that a broader audience is going to be more scrutinizing.

    No one has the right to fabricate things about you and your family, but we have the right to form opinions. My opinion is that the photo hoax and the descriptions in the media that are an exaggeration or a distortion of what was in the police report point to this story being something rather different than how it has been portrayed. But different in what way, I'm not sure.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. And of course, if there's anything you wish to share but not in a public forum, my email address is in the "email me" link in the ABOUT section up above.

      Delete
  20. Kushibo,

    In an interview with a KC radio morning show, Melissa Coon indicated that her son didn't mention the "white boy" comment to the police. She said that he told her that later when she got to him at the hospital.
    http://kcmomorningshow.blogspot.com/2012/03/melissa-coon-kansas-city-hate-crime.html

    In the interview, she also recounts the interesting story of a follow-up interview the detective on the case conducted two days after the incident with her son, to get the "prosecutor's statement". She said:
    "They ended up interrogating him... he says to us: 'They took my phone from me, they're looking through my phone, they asked me: 'Are you sure you didn't do this to yourself? You know when I was your age I thought it was funny to light a pile of leaves on fire and try to burn my mom's trailer down. Is that what you tried to do your mom's house?''"

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    1. The interview was interesting. Thanks for sharing the link.

      It reminds me of the danger of quoting someone who is quoting someone sometime after the fact. I'm speaking more of the description of the supposedly racist teacher who is often cited in the blogs covering this story (e.g., in American Thinker).

      The account in AT is third hand: Melissa Coon describing what her son had told her about what the teacher said. And from my own experience in teaching in a racially mixed school, it is less plausible to me that it went down like this...

      "What would you know about it?" exclaimed the teacher dismissively. "You're not our race."

      ... than something like this:

      Allen, can you tell us what you know about Black History? Do you think it's possible for White people to understand the difficulties Black people have faced?

      But then again, some teachers can be racist, and I wouldn't eliminate that possibility.

      By contrast, the idea that other students are calling him "Casper" rings true. At the aforementioned high school where I was a substitute teacher for two years, some White kids tried to get around prohibitions of obvious racial epithets by referring to Blacks students as "Leroy" (tauntingly pronounced LEE-roy). This caused no small amount of friction, but some of the teachers were wholly unaware of it.

      "Casper" (as in the friendly ghost) seems like that kind of taunt, and it may be race-based harassment (even if the kids might think it's no different than, say, calling a short kid "Joe Pesci," which wouldn't be a race-based taunt). As I've said, even if it turned out none of the events of the gasoline incident were true, I believe Allen Goin has been the victim of race-based harassment (to include such taunts) and possibly physical bullying.

      In fact, looking online (at sites having nothing to do with this case), it appears that bullying is a problem at East High School and some of the students (or parents) who report such feel that the teachers and administrators ignore that issue. And if that's true, it also appears that the bullying occurs within racial groups as well (e.g., Black kids bullying other Black kids).

      I am trying to get teacher Karla Dorsey to answer some email questions. I would like to ask her (a) what her side of the American Thinker's story is, (b) if she has seen Allen Goin taunted, especially in a race-based way, (c) if she sees bullying going on in her school and what, if anything, she and the school are doing about it. (And I'll be as skeptical of what she writes as I have been about everyone else.)

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  21. I have to agree about the mother enjoying the attention, the son and father look to be trying to move on and get back to some sort of normal. I do feel for this child IF what he claims is true. I will have to wait to see where this goes from here, I just feel that the KCPD have their reasons for lack of investagation. and for the person who posted about this Melissa's FB page and all the pictures and post she has, I agree that the child looks to be fine and the media WAY OVER DID his story to soun like this poor child was mutilated. THIS IS NOT THE FACT!!!! rather he was burnt badly or not is not the case though, again IF this was a crime and not just a child playing with fire who didnt want to get into trouble and blamed others, then the amount of burn on them shouldnto matter rather then the fact that it could have been a lot worse had he not gotten his shirt off. I agree there are ALOT of holes in this story and the mother does not help the case any in my opinion having an open FB page that shows this family out and about all the time and pictures of the child. I am glad to see the outcome was not as bad as the media/mother made it out to be but this may not have gotten as much attention had they not "played" up the story a little. only time will tell and until that day comes no one should just jump the gun that this child lied, have your doubts because we are entitled to that as americans and given this ugly world you tend to have to question EVERYTHING anymore. I enjoyed this blog and am glad to see all sides of this story and the different opinions of others. this Melissa Coon may want to concider doing a blog herself anc correct the media before it gets out of conrtol. I would hate to see people with big hearts out there feeling the need to help this family thinking this was way worse then it really was and the family not really need the help. I have saw on several other pages people wanting to send them money or items and I fear they have been mis-informed from the start on the boys condition. Melissa Coon please keep us all posted on when your son does the lineup, I would also like to see you respond to the questions above to clear some questions and make this not look to bad on your behalf.

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    1. Anonymous, try the RETURN key from time to time. :)

      I'm glad you appreciate this post. Despite my own qualms and questions about this whole issue, I've been trying to create a forum where people can learn about this story and get to the bottom of it without hostility flying back and forth.

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    2. And thanks for providing that forum, kushibo. I think you've done a good of presenting both sides.

      As an aside, you may want to consider a fresh posting for further discussion. I think the word "hoax" in the title may be rankling Ms. Coon and her supporters. While your reference is to a picture that did actually turn out to be a hoax, I (like you) believe that Ms. Coon had nothing to do with that hoax picture. But having that on the same page as your reasoned but probing discussion of the case may disincline her to take part.

      In any case, I think it would be fascinating to hear comments from Karla Dorsey. I distrust the American Thinker article, because it repeats the clearly untrue "doused in gasoline" version of the attack, and because it devolves into the clearly partisan:: "Listening to her testimony I got the feeling that K.C. law enforcement didn't want the arrest and prosecution of two black youths on a hate-crime charge, possibly for fear of the 'powder keg.' Perhaps this is a job for the DOJ's Civil Rights Division. Oh, yeah, Eric Holder."

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    3. I might consider making an entirely new post, one with a less controversial title, if something significant happens that warrants a new post instead of an update (e.g., answers from Karla Dorsey to the questions above).

      I never realized this post would attract so much attention, but I was happy to make it as fair a forum as I possibly could once I saw all the comments. I hope I've been fair to both MBarber (who was not responsible for starting the photo hoax) and Ms Coon (who I'm certain had nothing whatsoever to do with starting or spreading it).

      That said, part of the appeal (to me) of having everything in one post is that all the information is out there in one easy-to-find spot.

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  22. First, I have no problem with you displaying how biased the media is.
    I do have a problem with you portraying one story. I don't know the facts in that case and I never pretended that I did. I don't have a problem with an opinion different than mine. There was a comment above about opinions based on facts, unfortunately we hardly ever get the FACTS from the media.

    I have been waiting for someone to use facts in the Trayvon Martin case and debunk some things out there like you attempted with the gasoline case. You say that Zimmerman said he was a "f---ing coon".. not a fact..
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/06/enhanced-audio-11-call-questions-if-george-zimmerman-used-racial-slur/

    I have seen in this Trayvon case skewed agendas all over the place. It is one of the worst skew jobs I have ever seen. This is why I wait for both sides of the story before forming an opinion. I read over and over again that the cops told him not to keep following him.. false.. they said "we don't need you to do that" .. two completely different things.. I have also read that one of the first things he said was that Trayvon was black making him racist, thanks to NBC botching the 911 tape. He only said that he was black after the police asked.

    On top of that, I've heard that Zimmerman and his wife tutored at risk African American youth. (No idea if true, but I haven't heard anyone denying it). Regardless it is not something I'm ready to use to form my opinion bc I'm not sure if it's true.

    So where is the basis of a hate crime? Just bc a "white-hispanic" man shoots a black man and gets away with it.. anyone who watches i.d. sees that they won't arrest someone til they've built their case to keep them. From the beginning they said Zimmerman would get arrested when they built a case. Here is a case that happened in December that had me outraged that this man got away with murder.. it wasn't until I looked further into it that I realized it was a black man who shot a white man. Did this make me automatically think it was a hate crime? NO.
    http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/21/tonight-on-ac360-florida-shooter-claims-stand-your-ground-defense/

    You seem set on the fact that this murder was a murder of race. What facts do you have to form that opinion?

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    1. Zimmerman was not crazy, so he can't use that defense. Zimmerman did say that he felt threatened when there was no cause. I don't think it was a hate crime by far, but race did have something to do with it. The fear of black men is what caused him to panic and shoot. So it's not a hate crime, but race was definitely a motivator.

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  23. itissaid, thank you for your response and i respect your opinion,

    i think any kid walking that he didn't recognize walking around at that time would have led him to the same reaction. i could be wrong, but i don't know how people are so for sure about race being a motivator. the neighborhood had a lot of crime, recently there were a few break ins (if i remember correctly, young black perpetrators, not positive). regardless, he shouldn't have followed him, but he retreated when they told him that he didn't need to follow him. it seems nothing would have happened if trayvon didn't attack him. we don't know that for sure of course. i don't think he feared the black man from what i've seen, but if i see things that lead me to believe that he did, i will gladly change my opinion. i truly think that if the kid was white, black, hispanic, etc. he would have followed him. the trial will be interesting to see if anything new surfaces.

    i'm not saying that zimmerman shouldn't be charged, but people have gotten off for way less with the stand your ground law. the article i posted above, the guy got off bc he weighed less basically. there wasn't even a physical altercation. so why the uproar now and not before? what's sad is that i asked a black friend if she would care if this had been a white kid that had been killed, she couldn't answer. i do think it's a tragedy that a young man lost his life and that he deserves justice regardless of the color of his skin, so do the kids that lose their lives every single day.

    anyway, the reason i wrote in the first place is bc the blog poster acted as if the trayvon case had no media agendas. he was belittling others about posting false info when he himself in his post stated:

    Trayvon Martin's killing is a tragedy borne of racial animus (evidence, for example, by Mr Zimmerman's reference to "fuckin' coons" as he was tracking Trayvon).

    this was never confirmed.. and it just came out that this in fact was not what he said. there are so many media "blunders" in this story, it's crazy. just like the edited police recording that nbc posted. it's a subjective reality, we only use the "facts" that we want that fit our story. regardless, the media agenda through this whole thing is maddening and the blog poster dismisses that.

    when originally reading this, i thought the blog poster was unbiased, but after reading his comments, i no longer think that. i agree that the two events are not same-same. again, i have no idea if this story was a hoax, but if you're going to look so deep into one side of the story, why not the other? why take hearsay as facts? again, he was so quick to point out the "falsehoods" in one case, but not the other.

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  24. I attend college with Melissa Coon.She is in my class. Her maiden name is Coon while her son's father's last name is Goin. I'm not sure what the truth is, but she did bring her son to class last week. He had no visible burns and his eyelashes and eyebrows had grown back. I believe that his story may be true, but I think his mother is hyping it up to get attention for herself. I do not think she ran the fake facebook page because she is not that smart. The language included in that page was too formal, she speaks a lot of slang in class and does not adhere to language and grammar rules. If the facebook page was her doing she had help.

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  25. Once again, as stated in 50 comments above, she did not start the fb page.

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  26. Melissa Coon gave an update on her Facebook page on Tuesday. Said the police did a photo lineup of 4 suspects, but none of the pictures were the attackers. Police have dropped the case. Said that police believe them but "all leads are exhausted".

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  27. I believe what happened to Trayvon is a tragedy. My heart breaks for his family and I have the utmost respect their patience, discouragement of violence, and the overall composure they have maintained in light of losing their son. The media, politicians, activist and misguided persons picking up stories will do with them what they may. I don't believe this case is necessarily racial profiling as much as it is "thug" profiling. Being from Apopka which is also in the Orlando region I can attest to the presence of "thugs" white, black, and hispanic. Sadly, I associated with thugs - white, black, and hispanic when I lived there. At the time I cried out that people were judging us on our appearance, but I now believe that was misguided. Many areas in the greater Orlando area are plagued with violence and crime. Unfortunately, if you dress like a "thug" it is likely at first glance people will believe you are a "thug". Many people who dress as such may not be "thugs" or even aspire to be, but once I chose to remove myself from that culture I realized that the way you dress effects how people perceive you and this is especially heightened in areas of recent criminal activity. (continued in next post)

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  28. With that said, yes people are sensationalizing the Allen Coon case for their own agendas, but the same has been done by the media in the Trayvon Martin case. The only difference it the majority of reporting you elude to are not mainstream and blogs and internet posts are often amateur and not held to the same reporting standards as the mainstream media. The following are instances of sensationalized reporting by the mainstream media who have irresponsibly fuel the flames of racism especially in light of the white (e.g. white supremacist) and black (e.g. the New Black Panther Party) extremists that have come out on both sides. (1) NBC: Reported "editing error" in removing the part where the dispatcher asked Zimmerman "is he white, black, or hispanic" editing and also omitted "or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about" in its audio to "This guy looks like he’s up to no good he looks black" - NBC has since apologized and corrected the "editing error" though they have not come clean on their motives - another written article by NBC previous to the TV audio editing also reported the same type of editing, but had (...) indicating that something had been removed from the transcript. This shows that on previous reporting they were careful enough to note that something had be left out, but as you indicated people don't always read carefully and simply placing (...) would not put most reader's on notice that a significant clarifying point had been left out of the statement. I myself read the report with (...) and thought "well that's racist" and I'm now in law school where I'm taught to read carefully. I also believe this indicates they were aware of the questionable editing but proceeded with the audio editing despite that awareness (2) CNN has been a little more respectable in cleaning up the mess they created when they picked up from another source claiming the Zimmerman said "f*cking coon" on the call, although they admitted it was hard to decipher. Later CNN had an analyst determine from enhanced audio that it is more likely he said "fucking cold." I also remember hearing that he said "f*cking coon" on the radio and thinking "that is no doubt racist, what scum." (3) ABC released a grainy surveillance video as proof that Zimmerman arrived at the police station that night without injuries. You remember this Al Sharpton picked it up as proof that it was a malicious hate crime against a black youth as Zimmerman had not sustained any injuries. However, after an enhanced video was released showing injuries to the back as Zimmerman's head (as consistent with what was reported by Zimmerman and cooperated by a 13 year old witness who's statement was taken that night) ABC was forced to backtrack on its initial report. This time the media didn't get me. You couldn't really see anything on the video.
    (continued on next post)

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  29. Your indicating this report is a hoax and dismissing the alleged past racism is not better than people calling for an investigation into Trayvon's activities. Trayvon was on a 10 day suspension from school. Some report it was for swinging on a bus driver and other reports indicate it was for possession of a baggy containing minimal amounts of marijuana. (we can only speculate as his school records have been sealed - and properly so as it is a matter for the judge and jury if it relates to a mitigating factor) The only thing that may be relevant to the case at hand is if Trayvon had a history of violence. Other than that, he's a kid. If he had tattoos, made immature social media post, and smoked pot that's what a lot of kids do and is of little relevance. The fact he may have dressed like a thug does not make him a thug, but evidence of past violence could offer some support to that finding. This would be relevant to Zimmerman's self-defense claim.

    It is sad when people attack victims. I did not like it when people demonized Trayvon; especially when much of the criticism was not outside the norm for much of today's youth regardless of race. You are doing something very similar to this kid and his family. Minimizing or questioning the magnitude of the injuries that this victim sustained and motives does not refute the fact that an attack occurred. Given the history of Adam and other white students in the community it could also support the finding that it was a hate crime.
    (continued in next post)

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  30. I like you also went to a diverse high school. Probably, about 40% white, 35% black, and 25% hispanic. We moved to Apopka when I was in elementary school and my sister was middle school. Shortly thereafter there was a race riot in the middle school. My sister was hit with a led pipe and had to go to the hospital. She was hit because she was white and my sister unlike myself was always straight laced so I doubt there was another motive. While I was in middle school I had the balloons my parents sent me popped by a group of black girls as they said "f*ck you cracker." I had to go home an ask my parent what that meant. On another instance I had a chain ganked from my neck by a black girl that called me a "white whore." Despite these attacks I remained in school and by high school a lot of the racial tension was gone and had polarized to the extremes on both sides. The vast majority of black, hispanic and white students did not associate themselves with the known racist groups and would speak out when incidents of racism occurred. We talked to each other about racism even when amongst ourselves a white or black student friend made a racist remark we'd try to get to the bottom of why they felt that way. Although we didn't always agree we still remained friends.

    Unfortunately, in the case of Adam Coon it does not appear that students will begin to reject the racism they have been taught especially since it appears to be at worst indoctrination by the educational system and at the best tolerated. Adam Coon like Trayvon Martin was a victim. Given he did not suffer irreparable injuries (except possibly psychological) and Trayvon lost his life. That alone does not change his status as a victim of crime.

    It is assumed that Trayvon's death was the result of a "hate crime", but there is insufficient evidence to yet support such a finding. In fact much less information than you dismissed in Adam's case. You state two possibilities for the racial "white boy" comment being left out of the police report: (1) it was added later (as you purport to turn it in to a racial issue) or (2) the police deliberately omitted it. However, I feel that there is a third equally plausible rationale. Adam is a kid and even though you question the severity of the crime committed against him it was undoubtably traumatic. "It seems at odds that he would not include it at the time especially because they mentioned they would investigate it as a hate crime" - Is your "natural" conclusion. Maybe it is due to his maturity, the fact he was just victimized and suffered injuries, or that darn him, but he just didn't have his wits about him to make sure to include (what appears necessary to you) all the details to validate this being a hate crime.

    His immaturity may also have made it less likely he is familiar with the term "hate crime" especially as related to incidence involving white victims. In his mental state maybe he was just worried about identifying his attackers of the crime and less worried about including relevant information to substantiate a finding that this was a hate crime. He was probably more worried about the fact that a crime was committed against him and far less concerned with fitting that crime into the apparently impenetrable box of a black on white "hate crime." (continued in next post)

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  31. Dismiss Adam's case as you may, but maybe you should look into the case of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. A white couple that was carjacked by a group of 4 black males. Christopher was gang raped and sodomized with blunt objects which resulted in serious injuries, then was taken to a field, shot three times and set on fire. His girlfriend was forced to watch as they raped him. I'm not quite sure how much gasoline they used though, but his father was only able to identify him by his eyes. (continued in next post)

    Channon was also gang raped vaginally, anally, and orally. She had trauma to her vaginal region which could have only been sustained by repeated kicking or other blunt force trama. She was beaten to the extent to cause bruising to her brain. She was sodomized with various objects including what the expert believe to be a metal chain. Her lips were separated from her gums from the repeated oral rapes. She then she had chemicals, possibly bleach, poured into her mouth, anus, and vagina while she was alive and all were torn and bleeding. The men of course did this to get rid of the DNA evidence. They also continuously urinated on her throughout the ordeal. Again, I'm not sure how much of the chemical was used nor how many times they urinated on her, so maybe it doesn't rise to a hate crime. This went on for 2days.

    One defendant, a female, was present the whole time and did nothing. Her journal entry from this time indicates that she was learning a lot and having a big adventure ha ha. She also had several of Channon's belongings when she was arrested. When she only received 52years it is reported that she turned to her parents to smile and wink. It is on the record that Channon's mother said in her victim statement that - hopefully the fact that she plans to go to every parole hearing will knock that smile off her face. Her jury selection though not illegal, was certainly questionable. She did not make a statement and showed no remorse during her trial.

    After the men were done with Channon, they tied a bag around her head, and placed her in a trash can inside the house in the fetal position. It was at this time that she slowly died of asphyxia. Then they dismember her body and placed it into 5 separate bags. This was never investigated as a hate crime. Although it started off as a carjacking the events, actions, and statements of the Defendant's that gave way to and followed the brutal murders certainty would make it reasonable to investigate it as a hate crime. As for police investigation, it was Channon's parents, not the cops that located the missing vehicle. They were not charged with a hate crime which would make it a federal offense.

    At the conclusion of an interview, after the gruesome details had been revealed the Prosecution presented evidence that one defendant said "F*ck that white girl, she don't mean nothing to me. You cops come into my neighborhood and kill us. Why should I get involved in something that is non of my business?” Channon's father (addressing those whom he believes used his daughter's death to further their own agenda) stated "[the crime] ain't about you." He advocates focusing on the victim the crime was committed against. There's a thought.

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  32. (last post) Hate crimes come in all forms. People often use these for their own personal agendas and only fuel racism. The concern for the victim is often insincere or nonexistent. I have went to several different sources and I am appalled of the overt, reprehensible, and ignorant racist comments made by whites, blacks, and hispanics. Not only does provide a public forum for this social trash, but it also begins to divide people who would hardly be characterized as racists.

    I will call out a white person in a heartbeat for making racist comments and educate them on the "thug" culture and how it transcends the color of your skin. I have always done this and since I've moved to a less diverse community it doesn't always make me popular, but I will not sacrifice my values. However, in light of these events it appears that I will be judge by many in the black community as a racist based on the color of my skin. This doesn't make me want to support their self-serving cause. I will however focus on Trayvon and the crime, if any, that was committed against him. I will continue to support his family and be in awe of the high standards of character they have set and for which I will strive, but I will remain disgusted at what the media, politicians, activists, and extremists have turned this into.

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