Quick Goodbye, A New Hello

When I first set out to build a social media platform, I did so with the intention to simply have fun. Yes, I realized the pressure put on young writers to have a massive online presence. (By the way, this is completely wrong – social media presence is not as valuable as you might think). Indeed, it was one thing impressed upon me during my one year studying professional writing at Taylor University. I’ll never forget my first writing conference either. However, I never wanted to take social media too seriously, nor did I want it to become a massive time sink. It was a tool, and outlet, and no more.

If 2020 has shown me anything, it’s centered me on the things that really matter. I’ve drawn closer to God, I’ve dug deep into a foundation firm in truth, enjoyed valuable time with my family, and spent a good chunk of my days considering my future: dreams, goals, and plans. I also watched a good many people, for lack of better words, go crazy. Social media became a roller coaster descending deeper and deeper down into madness.

There was no room for fun. No, not anymore. Jokes were forbidden. Free thought, frowned upon. No room to agree to disagree. Think as I think or else. Like the wrong tweet, follow the wrong person, or believe the wrong thing, and you’re canceled. Not a good option for someone as absent-minded as myself. And they don’t just cancel your social media. They come for your job, your home, and even your family. I watched people I knew get sucked in, becoming shadows of what they once were. I then watched as others I knew were consumed right before my eyes and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

Dramatic? Maybe. I’ve witnessed a generation arise with itching ears and a desire to do good, but who lack a foundation of truth. Lines are draw in the sand with no room for unity, for compromise, for common decency or for love. Those who profess to be experts but lack practical experience. Who theorize upon couches but can’t be bothered to get their boots dirty in the trenches. They think, but only what their party tells them too or what the mob dictates. Problem solving? No. Critical thinking? No. Full of words, but no substance. Full of morality but no morals. And everyone is at each other’s throats, as if at war, and no one is slowing down to just take a breath…and breathe.

So, to that, I say my quick goodbye. A quick goodbye to Twitter, to my author page on Facebook, and to the vast swath of social media I built the last three years. I reached around 80k people a week. Not bad. Could be better. But it wasn’t on my terms. I didn’t control the narrative. Instead, people can take what you say and make it sound like whatever they want and that’s not for me.

So, as I consider whether I will keep my personal Facebook and Instagram, the last remnants of social media outside of YouTube and my website, I’m relieved. A giant weight falls off my shoulders. The stress melts away. My time is freed for school, work, writing, guitar playing, martial arts, church and family. This website is a wonderful outlet for building something as I see to it. Gradually, but steadily. Without censorship. Just with a freedom to create.

I’m super stoked about writing projects in the works. I have massive opportunities opening up for me, career wise, while my family continues to grow. The world may be on fire, but I won’t be burnt. I’m not going to live a life in fear. Instead, just love.

I want to encourage others. To write the good stories. To tell the tales I have always wanted to explore. And I’m doing so in pursuit of the God who loved me so much he died for me, in my place. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. And I know who has a hold of me. And so, this is my new hello. Welcome to new beginnings. Feel free to stick around. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Spolight: An Analyst Prospective

I have not been given the prestige title of “Influencer” or “Twitter Expert.” What I do have is 13,000 investigative hours over a seven year period. As an All Source Analyst, who works as a private investigator on insurance claims and with law firms and insurance companies, I’ve specialized in intelligence, investigations, and data. I may not have a blue check mark, but I have worked a legal case…or two, or a thousand or so.

It frustrates me to no end witnessing this movement of “I feel it so it must be true.” If your morality is based upon feelings than your foundation is nothing more than sand. You lack an anchor, and are driven to and fro, just wherever the wind takes you. And when it comes to a court of law, your expression of outage and virtue signaling is meaningless. If not outright harmful.

What I want is justice. No one should have to be in fear of a police officer. Not now. Not ever. And what we all observed in that video of George Floyd being killed was horrific. But, yes, but, what is happening may sink his chances of having justice. And this makes me angry.

Issue: the case was racially motivated. Many seem to forget that in America, you are innocent until proven guilty. And it takes more than an accusation to make a charge stick. But Floyd was black and Chauvin was white! Yes. And? What does that prove? What evidence do you have to prove that Chauvin was racist? Police officers are notorious for not having a strong social media presence. I checked. He already scrubbed his. The fake accounts some of you have made will not help investigators. So what proof do you have that this was a racially motivated murder?

There was a lot of diversity among the officers on the scene. I did not hear any racial slurs during the video. Did I miss something? In a review of the footage, I see a proud, arrogant man kneeling on the neck of an “opponent” he had subdued. It was wrong, disturbing, and a disgusting display of pride. But racist? Can you prove it?

Then take into account that Chauvin was married to an immigrant from Thailand. A little research suggests her longtime friend was a director of diversity. He worked among a diverse crew of officers. Remember, on a jury of 12, the DA must convince them all. The defense only has to sow the seed of doubt into the mind of 1.

Issue: the elevation to 2nd degree murder may have sunk the case. And for those petitioning for 1st degree: stop. 1st degree murder implies Chauvin premeditated the killing. So, he knew Floyd would attempt to use a counterfeit bill? That a clerk would call the cops on him? And it would be during his beat? I want Chauvin to do time, not walk free.

Chauvin and Floyd worked together! Ok, and? I worked security at a massive retail store in the heart of one of the biggest cities in the country at one time. They regularly had police officers work a shift. I hung out with one of them. The rest of the security guys didn’t. Working security shifts (Floyd worked inside, Chauvin worked outside) does not prove 1st degree, premeditated murder. Did Chauvin stalk Floyd? Did he threaten him? Did he have a wall in his house dedicated to display his hate of Floyd? No? Then 1st degree won’t stick.

2nd degree doesn’t have a great chance either. Besides the police being protected by a powerful union that can afford incredible attorneys, 2nd degree means you must prove intent. Did Chauvin intend to kill Floyd? Can you prove it? Intention means motivation and inner thoughts. So where is your proof? Did Chauvin say it? Oh he mocked Floyd. But did he say he intended to kill him?

The “throat on neck” is a terrible submission technique. It tells me police officers need better martial arts training. However, this technique appears to be popular. I already witnessed another officer doing it to someone on video in the past week. Only the person didn’t die. If Chauvin can show it was a typical thing he did to a suspect resisting arrest, it will disprove intent to kill. Is it excessive? Yes. Is it an abuse of power? Yes. Is is poor training? Yes. Is it intent to murder? Do you think it will stick with a jury?

3rd degree murder was a perfect fit. It seemed likely and easily provable. But 2nd degree? 1st degree? The chances of an acquittal just rose significantly.

Issue: but we have video. Meaningless. I’ve done cases with hours and hours of footage. It meant nothing to the jury. There are juries that have been more impacted by an episode of CSI than actual evidence shown during trail. What has a greater impact? Probably the rioting and looting. Probably all the toxic craziness on social media. And, probably the character of Floyd. The defense will use this. The felony assault of a pregnant woman? Yep. The porn career? Yep. The use of a counterfeit bill? Yep. They will paint him as a dangerous subject. They have testimony the officers struggled for 10 minutes to get him into the vehicle. This will impact the jury.

The preliminary reports of the autopsy are out, but it will be a few weeks before the full report are ready. I’ve read hundreds of them. Right now we are hearing reports of drugs in his system, evidence of covid-19, and that he had a heart condition. If true, the defense will hire an expert to expound on these points. They only have to plant a seed of doubt in 1. That’s it.

There’s a conspiracy! A cover-up! You need to get used to the word allegedly. You need to prove allegations before you start flinging that term around. It works in political theater, but not in a court of law. It doesn’t help the case. I want justice. I don’t care about virtue signaling. I care that a man died over a fake $20 bill. I’m mad that a cop sat on his neck mocking the man as he died. But, did the cop know he was dying? Did the cop have enough justification to believe that Floyd was lying? Floyd was a big man. He had struggled for 10 minutes. Is this enough to create doubt in the minds of a jury?

Issue, the main issue: real change. We need unity. We need a foundation of truth that is built upon a rock that doesn’t blow away like sand. We need better trained officers and reforms to come to our local law enforcement agencies. We also need to remember that cops are people too. We need to eliminate racism wherever we find it, standing for truth and justice. We need to vote. To pray. To repent.

The upcoming court case will not be easy. I’ve worked on cases against police officers. They are not easy. You need to have an airtight case. Even then it might not be enough. And when the stakes are this high, you can’t afford to be wrong. But maybe the DA is just that good? I don’t know.

Well, those are my two cents as an analyst. If I were working this case, I’d work from the angle that Chauvin was a power mad cop who let his abuse of office get to his head. He’d committed more than a dozen abusive acts and nothing happened. He felt untouchable. He put himself above the law and violated his oath to office. He killed a man. So my research would be to prove this. To prove he was a prideful, violent, arrogant police officer.

This case could be used a centerpiece for driving reform in police departments across the country. A deep background on the officers may uncover a nugget or two. It only takes a single bread crumb to break a case wide open. So support whoever the investigators are working this case. And may justice be served.

One more issue: the other officers aided and abetted the murder. Did they? Does standing around constitute that? Again, feelings don’t matter. Did they fail to perform their function to serve and protect? Yes. But were they knowingly assisting in the murder of a man? Can you prove it beyond the shadow of doubt?

It won’t be easy. The peaceful protests do work. But don’t let it end there. Take action. Vote. Unite. Seek peace. Cry for justice. Make a difference. And don’t sink this case.