AuthorTalk: Writing Update

It’s been a few months since I posted an update on projects. As you can imagine, 2020 has thrown a number of things out of whack. This includes a delay in the release of Vehemence. I hope to have solid information soon, but until then, I’m still hoping it makes a fall 2020 release, but my expectation is spring 2021.

Additional manga projects have been pitched and I’m awaiting approval. At this point, I will probably not be writing any additional scripts until next year. I say this based on all the chaos going on in the comic industry right now. It might take a few months to settle down.

What of my steampunk epic, urban fantasy, and PI series? All still in the works, but momentarily paused. I will be completing the steampunk epic next year. I’ve actually taken a quick break from writing manuscripts. I will be getting back to them shortly, but the reason I’ve delayed is partly because of the insanity, but mostly because of schooling.

I am presently set to earn a certificate in Open Source Intelligence and become a certified Tableau Desktop Specialist in September. In October, I am hoping to get my PI license, and then get my CFE in December. My black belt test for Kenpo is set for October, and I’m hoping to also earn a LinkedIn badge for Tableau before the end of the year. I also have to form an LLC as part of getting my PI license, so yes, I’m just a tad bit busy at the moment.

Next year, I will be getting the CSMIE and CSMIA, making me an expert in SOCMINT and OSINT. Also, planning on earning additional LinkedIn badges for Excel, SQL and Python before becoming a certified SalesForce Admin (it works nicely with Tableau). However, with next year hopefully being a bit less hectic, I should be able to get a lot more writing done. I plan to do the steampunk epic, book one in my martial PI series, and at least two manga scripts in 2021.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, and keep pressing onward and upward.

Mass Effect Remastered Wishlist

According to rumors and inside sources, we are supposed to be getting a remake or remaster of the original Mass Effect trilogy in October. Add to this a Mass Effect art book with new artwork coming in March 2021, and it appears to be a done deal. Well, barring any Covid-19 delays.

My hope would be for a complete remake, but my gut tells me to set expectations at a slightly upgraded remaster: some tweaked visuals, faster frame rate, all the dlc, and maybe some inventory improvement. This might be fine for a Xbox One or PS4 release, but what if they were to also release an actual remake for the next gen consoles? Namely, the Xbox Series X and the PS5. Well, here is my wishlist.

Let’s start with the cutscenes. Get a studio like Blur, the team behind the Halo CE and Halo 2 remasters. Glorious 4K 60fps movie quality level cutscenes. Then add another three or so hours of added content, fleshing out any loose ends. I especially wouldn’t mind if they included a whole lot more meat on the ending in Mass Effect 3 in order to close out the trilogy on a much stronger note.

For the rest of the game, environments and character models hitting a solid 4K 60fps would be awesome. A thorough polish, ironing out any bugs, would also be appreciated. I want smooth gameplay, beautiful visuals, and incredible sound. Musical score, dialogue and sound effects all have to pop. And if they could create a living , breathing world, more power to them. It’s the little attention to detail that make a world.

Obviously, all dlc needs to be included. And I would love for the combat system of Mass Effect 3 to be streamlined across the entire trilogy. Let me skip the planet scanning sections. Fix the inventory system of Mass Effect 1. And add some more customization options for the ship. Lastly, throw in some Easter eggs for the next Mass Effect. Or maybe also include a steel case collectors edition? Also, why hasn’t 1000Toys made any Mass Effect figures?!?

Like I stated at the beginning, the chances of a complete Mass Effect trilogy remake are pretty low. But if they wanted to reignite faith in BioWare once more, well, few options exist better than this. On a side note, really liked what I saw of Dragon Age 4. Here’s hoping next gen consoles can deliver the next evolution of RPGs I’m craving to dive into.

Xbox: The Comeback Kid?

Does the delay of Halo Infinite sink Microsoft? Simple answer: no, not even close. That’s not to say the sailing ahead won’t be rough. Xbox is in this for the long haul. They have the superior system in terms of raw power. They have GamePass and XCloud and full backwards compatibility and smart delivery. And the pro-consumer message is only strengthened by delaying Halo Infinite. They want to do their fans right and the franchise justice. But where do they go from here? I have some theories and suggestions.

Price: it’s not a secret Sony is throwing money at 3rd party developers for exclusivities: be it special content (a la Spiderman in Avengers) or timed exclusives (Final Fantasy XVI). And if all the leaks I’ve heard are true, they need it. The PS5 is struggling with true 4K resolution. It’s having difficulty with 60fps. They need the exclusive deals, alongside their magnificent 1st party games, to give them an edge over the sheer power of the Xbox Series X. And, I think it will work in the short term given their sheer slice of the market pie. They have the bigger base and the momentum. They also have Spiderman: Miles (DLC? Expansion?)

How does Xbox counter? With affordability. First, smart delivery means next gen upgrades are free. That’s huge. Sony would rather continue the model of constant remasters (like Spiderman).

Second, is offer various models at affordable price points. That’s where the Xbox Series S factors in. If they can release that at $200-$250 and drop the Xbox Series X in at $400, it would be a mega bomb. Especially if the leak is true that PS5 is at $500 and their all digital is coming in at $400. That’s a massive price advantage that will make waves over the holiday season.

Third, is Xbox Live. I have a sneaking suspicion it will go free, or be bundled into the GamePass. Either way, I don’t see Xbox having two subscription fees at the launch of their new system. And with the positive outpouring of support for Halo multiplayer being free, it’s the kind of pro-consumer move that can become a deciding element at the register.

Studios: having the most powerful and most affordable next generation hardware sounds great on paper, but ultimately, it will come down to the games. I love what Xbox is doing in the long run with titles like Avowed and Fable. I think we have a lot to look forward to, and I do believe that Halo Infinite will also be a tremendous success. But my gut tells me the smart move is to keep enlisting talent, keep expanding the portfolio, and to continue to acquire studios, at the right price. Here’s a few that might make sense:

Bloober Team, Ebb Software, & Asobo Studios. These three studios make the most sense to purchase. Makers of the Medium, Scorn, and Flight Simulator, they would be smart to invest in studios on the verge of breaking out. With the right investment of time and money, they would provide the right kind of diversity and originality the Xbox portfolio needs.

Larin Studios. No one talks about this, but to me, it seems like a perfect fit. It would give the Xbox Series X a day one exclusive RPG: Baulder’s Gate 3. The studio has a proven track record, many labeling them a modern day BioWare, and would further strengthen RPGs in the Xbox portfolio.

People Can Fly: no longer owned by Epic, the makers of BulletStorm would be a great fit for creating original, fun FPS for the Xbox portfolio.

Remedy: they are already working on the single player portion for CrossFireX, and they made the cult classic Alan Wake for the Xbox 360, not to mention game of the year in 2019: Control. They are original, out of the box creators who specialize in 3rd person thrillers. The fit couldn’t make more sense.

WB Games: I love everything about this. The talent across the studios is legends. Imagine Netherrealms working on Mortal Kombat, Injustice, and Killer Instinct. Rocksteady getting the green light for Superman and Justice League. Xbox signing exclusive rights to DC, LOTR, Harry Potter and TMNT. It would be the biggest purchase in gaming history. Just the kind of groundbreaking move Xbox needs to drive their brand to the top.

Bungie: does Bungie come home? One of the key factors in their original departure was Bungie wanted to create a game as a platform. GamePass is perfect for that. Unlike with Activision, they left Xbox on good terms. A return would be well received. They could also assist 343 when/if needed.

CD Projekt Red: Ok, this would be the hard-nosed business maneuver. Sure, it makes sense. They’re my favorite studio. They make incredible games. If you want to be ruthless, you make CyberPunk 2077 a first party exclusive and call it a day. But I wouldn’t be for that. I would, however; be for the acquisition. The next Witcher a 1st party exclusive? Sign me up.

3rd Party Exclusives: ok, so who knows if any of the above will happen. If Xbox is smart, they are also looking into the possibility of third party exclusives. Maybe A Total War: Halo game by Sega? Not to mention bringing over Persona 5 and it’s expansion. They could revive Scalebound…and maybe snag the Bayonette trilogy and Nier as a bonus. What if Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 become exclusives? Makes sense given the history they have with Xbox. Maybe the Mass Effect Trilogy remaster could be an exclusive upgrade? I think making Elder Ring an exclusive would be a good move, especially if it could make the launch window.

I’m not a fan of timed exclusives. I’m also not a fan of any one company having a monopoly. I am supportive of all the major systems mainly because I am a fan of great games. I don’t want Xbox to fail. Competition breeds quality and innovation. Here’s hoping we are on the verge of the best generation of gaming ever. Only time will tell.

Halo Infinite: Death or Revival?

After taking a couple of weeks to allow the gameplay reveal of Halo Infinite to simmer in my thoughts, I confidentially can say I’m excited about what I have observed. However, not without a certain degree of reservations. Expectations are sky high, and the internet is ablaze with memes of Craig the Brute, but the real question is where does the flagship title for the next generation of Xbox go from here?

In truth, the next generation of Xbox is more GamePass than it is Series X. And Halo becoming a live service, or a platform that will be continually updated over a ten year period, fits in with a GamePass oriented future. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. The lore of Halo is rich and expansive, and the fact that Infinite begins on Zeta Halo delights my inner child to no end.

My main concern here is the rating: please let it be Mature as opposed to Teen. Considering this is the home of the palace of pain, Mendicant Bias, and the Primordial, not to mention a simultaneous war against the Banished and Cortana-led Prometheans (honestly, I think she’s been corrupted by the Flood). Will the precursors return? Will the flood invade from the far reaches of space? What of Atriox? So yeah, this is some rich soil for story to be grown over a prolonged period of time.

I adored the gameplay they showed off on July 23. I really did. It felt far more like Halo than Halo 4 or 5. I dig the grappling hook and the drop shield. I also thought the interaction between the pilot and Master Chief was well crafted. The AI appeared solid, and this Escharum figure got my blood pumping. Halo Infinite is hitting the right notes so far in regards to story and gameplay, two of my key ingredients in developing a good game. It’s a solid foundation to build on.

Also, the multiplayer going free-to-play doesn’t bother me. I’m hearing rumors of a Battle Royale mode being added, and as long as they include classic modes the series is famous for, this should fit in just fine. Going free should, in theory, create the largest player base in the history of Halo. Will there be Mircotransactions? Possibly. I saw a rumor of a Battle Pass and I’m not overly worried about it. I’ve also heard if you buy the physical copy of the game you won’t have to buy a battle pass. While this is unclear, a 120FPS multiplayer Halo packed with all the goodies the series is known for, plus a battle royale mode and the largest player base in history, leaves me satisfied for now.

Last bit of the good feels: knowing story expansions will be free also makes me happy. Not to mention this is a OPEN WORLD Halo game with RPG elements. Yes, please. New weapons? Check. Will there be new vehicles? Dual wielding? Assassinations? Space combat? Different worlds to explore? An entire ring to transverse? The musical score is already shaping up nicely. Honestly, I feel the negativity online towards this game thus far has been misplaced to a large degree. Plus, give me more Craig! And on a side note, I’ve heard rumblings that Forge is going to be epic.

Ok, now on to the negative. The graphics, while colorful and definitely a call back to CE, were still flat. There was no ray tracing (and apparently this will be an add-on? Needs to be day one). I did see some improvement between the gameplay reveal and the trailer they released right after. Still, a lot of work needs to be done. And the sound from the weapons also left me underwhelmed. My gut feeling is a lot of this will be fixed over time after the game is released. I think this is a mistake. This title should be a graphical powerhouse. It doesn’t have to wow in the “realism” factor, but it needs to be the best looking Halo ever, while keeping in line with the series art style. I feel like I’d be beating a dead horse if I continue on this line of thought, but seriously, 343, you have a $500 million budget. Improve the visuals.

Losing two legacy weapons, the magnum and shotgun, is unacceptable. I like the idea of customizing weapons and introducing new variants, but don’t remove legacy weapons. They are staples of the franchise. Include them.

The gameplay area they decided to present, underwhelmed. It felt lackluster when taken in the context of: here’s the next evolution of the biggest franchise on Xbox. The pop-ins were concerning. The fact that this was the most “stable” demo the game has thus far is concerning. Will it be released with bugs? Memories of the MCC launch come to the forefront of my mind. Will this launch be drenched with glitches and broken elements? Will the game be delayed?

Overall, I tend to lean more on the positive side of things. I am optimistic regarding Halo Infinite. I have faith that 343 is doing all in its power to do the series justice. Microsoft has essentially granted them a blank check, giving them all the financial backing they need to be a success. I would love to see destructible environments, the ability to create missions in Forge, and a more in-depth melee system. I’m also still waiting for the day I can take out an enemy base, jump into a starship, fly into orbit, engage in space combat, land on an enemy ship, blow up the enemy ship, and head back down to the enemy base where I get shot down and parachute onto an enemy tank in the middle of a massive ground conflict. Am I dreaming? Maybe. But isn’t that what next-gen console launches are supposed to do? To cause you to dream about the possibilities? To imagine the limits that will be pushed? Here’s hoping that Halo Infinite is everything it needs to be and should be.

Xbox July 2020 Showcase

The oddness of this next gen transition cannot be overstated. Some of it has to do with the wild circumstances we find ourselves living in: pandemic, protests, unhinged politicians, and rising global tensions. Few of us go untouched by it. Additionally, Sony and Microsoft have completely different marketing strategies. It’s mind blowing how different they are. Meanwhile, Nintendo must have taken a vow of silence, choosing to stay mum on just about everything. It’s frustrating sometimes.

The Ubisoft event a couple weeks ago proved to be a letdown. The Nintendo Direct earlier this week delivered plenty of meh. That Sony Conference last month? Ok. Not bad. Nothing heart stopping. The Xbox May Conference showed some low budget titles, but nothing spectacular. The July 2020 Xbox Showcase? Solid. 8 out of 10 even. Still, nothing jaw-dropping. Nothing screaming next gen. Where is the game justifying the purchase of these next gen systems?

The half a dozen trailers presented in the pre-show accomplished a glimmer of hope. After all, they had some solid surprises with standouts like Hello Neighbor 2 and Balan Wonderworld. And the main event itself offered a refreshing splash of diversity with a multitude of genres being touched upon. But if it failed in one arena, it would be the obvious lack of gameplay.

Halo Infinite opened the show and the gameplay blew me away. I actually loved what I saw. Upon closer examination, I was a bit disappointed in the texture pop-ins, and the graphical detail (not to mention the lack of Ray Tracing). Everything else though felt like classic Halo, only smoother and bigger. The trailer they threw up after the event did a better job of getting me pumped up for the release. Overall, I’m satisfied with what I saw and am not overly worried about 343 touching up the game before release. But exactly how has this game taken advantage of being on the Xbox Series X as opposed to the Xbox One? I don’t know.

After that opening, the rest of the games didn’t bother with extensive gameplay demos. Hellblade 2 is getting inspiration from Iceland. That’s it. No other update. Forza looks like a 2022 title. And while Avowed and Fable were two of my favorite reveals, I’m going to assume 2022-2023 release windows for both. No gameplay teaser.

State of Decay 3 looked terrifying, but again, another short trailer. The Medium looks good. I liked most of the games they showed, to be fair. However, not once did my jaw hit the floor. Not once did I stop and exclaim this to be a next gen revelation. And I left what should have been an eye opening showcase, perhaps the most important showcase in Xbox history, feeling the show was just solid. Not great. Not excellent. Not revolutionary. Solid.

From my understanding, Xbox held a lot back. Time will tell if this strategy pays off. Banjo? Perfect Dark? Elder Ring? Apparently Xbox wants to counter the Sony event taking place on August 6. At this point, will either of these companies rise up and show us what next gen gaming is truly capable of? Will they stop trying to outwit and out maneuver one another long enough to impress the masses? Right now, neither system has convinced me a purchase is warranted. Maybe that’s something they need to keep in mind.

Let me end on a brighter note. Listen, the pro-consumer things that Microsoft is doing are incredible. Xbox Game Pass is the best deal in gaming. All gamers should support it. Xbox Live appears to be going free. Smart Delivery is awesome. The backwards compatibility (that includes an uptick in graphics and frame rate) is exciting. Seriously, I wish Nintendo and Sony would take note. Xbox is doing a ton of things right. They’re listening to fan feedback. They interact with their fans! They also have games now. All they need to do is show off that killer app, that God of War level tease. That’s all I’m asking for.

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.

Insightful Gaming: PS5 Reveal!

No e3? No problem. The Sony Reveal Event delivered one of the best “directs” to date, and led me to wonder if e3 will even be necessary in 2021.

First, the design. I hate it. I love the fact there are two skus, a disc and disc-less option, but the thing looks like Alienware made a router – futuristic and wacky. No price. No release date. And I’m still curious about how loud the thing is going to be. At least the controller is slick.

So, disappointing design aside, the games are where it’s at. And Sony delivered. Spiderman: Miles Morales. Horizon Zero Dawn 2. Resident Evil 8. Ratchet and Clank. Kena. Pragmatic. Twenty-five in all. Anything mind-blowing? No. But enough great games to elicit a genuine sense of glee in me. I enjoyed what I saw. The games looked fun. Partially because they actually showed gameplay. Partially because they showed a bunch of games exclusive to the PS5. And the rest because I’m finally excited about next generation gaming in the fall.

After being on the receiving end of a one-sided fist fight for the better part of a year, Sony has captured the momentum for the next generation. They got the games, while hinting we haven’t seen everything yet. Xbox has the bigger beast, the better online service, and a Game Pass with no equal. Their backwards compatibility is ahead of the curve, and they have an ace in their sleeve by the name of Phil Spencer. But can they answer with a gaming showpiece in July? Only time will tell. For now, consider this as Sony’s way of saying, “Rumors of our demise were greatly exaggerated.”

Author Talk: Writing Update!

Finally. I can share some big updates on several projects:

1. I have four manga/comic projects in development with the following codenames: Vehemence, Eliam, Nebula and Fallen. At one time, I was preparing to do my own manga studio. But then Vehemence got a publisher. And then Covid-19 hit and that transformed the comics industry.

So the publisher is now working on creating what would essentially be the American equivalent of Shonen Jump, albeit with some modern twists and more pop-culture coverage. I don’t have full details yet, but all of my manga projects are tied to it. I also will be involved as a staff writer, conducting interviews and maybe writing articles. From what I gather at this point, it would involve work from indie creators all over the world. Hope to have more details soon.

2. I am in talks to join a very unique podcast. It’s a choose your own adventure storytelling series. I am super stoked about this. It has such a fun premise and comes from the team who produced the award nominated Strangers and Aliens podcast.

3. My novel, A Grim Awakening, is coming along really well. Little by little, each day. I intend to have it finished by the end of 2020. This does push Sugar Coated, Singularity, and other novel projects into next year.

4. Busy summer: school, Tableau workshop, Salesforce Admin workshop, SQL, Python, Advanced Excel, black belt test for Kenpo, and PI exam. Whew. I didn’t even mention guitar and getting back into the gym. One day at a time, gang. One day at a time.

So that about wraps up current news. I am super stoked about everything. I cannot wait to show you some art work, and reveal names and all the people I am working with. They are super cool. It would take something this awesome to return me to journalism like work (Infuze was 14 years ago). But this is special. Really special. More info to follow, so stay tuned.

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.

Spotlight – Tragedy Produces Crime

Liability cases can be tricky. Worked on a case once that turned from a AOE/COE into a subrogation once we uncovered the cause of death was a faulty support system installed by a 3rd party. Sadly, the death occurred just before Christmas. Another case involved a man who sued a major car maker because their car caught fire due to the man’s DUI influenced wreck. Still another saw a man lose his wife, of fourteen years, and his four children when the SUV exploded.

Yes, the cases are often sad. And sometimes, they include a twist. Like the time a malpractice lawsuit turned into a mafia operation. No joke.

Picture this: man goes into hospital with chest pains. County hospital misdiagnosed him (I’m not sure how they didn’t suspect a heart attack), and he dies. Family sues the country for a few million. I am tasked with checking in on businesses and assets on the deceased and his immediate family.

Here’s where it got weird. Ownership of all the businesses, all of which were involved in medical supplies, were being transferred to family friends. This included all the businesses which should have been owned by the subject’s spouse and children. Nope. Every business was transferred, and even the property deeds were being toyed with.

This case became so confusing I had to generate a data model to show all the relationships and connections between family and friends (including phone numbers, addresses, etc.). I also ended up doing bank searches and spot checks. I found some of businesses even changed their name or registered out of state.

The funny thing? They weren’t asking for more money. No, everything was being done to keep prying eyes away from their books. Allegedly, the entire thing was some sort of mafia racket. I didn’t stay on this case long enough to see it through. I handed over my findings to the county and we all went our merry ways. One of the craziest plot twists ever. Not the most insane though. I’ll leave that story of the vegetable turned real estate mogul for another day.