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FloridaToday Suing Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

“The moment I release it, I give up all of the security features that are in my jail.” – Sheriff Wayne Ivey

The FloridaToday has announced that they are suing the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in order to compel the release of the video within the jail and the resultant death of former Army Medic Gregory Edwards.

When FLORIDA TODAY devoted 10 months to investigating the troubling in-custody death of Army veteran Gregory Edwards, our team combed through more than 500 pages of sheriff’s office investigative reports, listened to more than 50 audio recordings, watched 2 hours and 55 minutes of body cam, in car and dash cam footage from West Melbourne Police and conducted multiple interviews with sources.

One thing we never had a chance to see was the video recording from Brevard County Jail that shows the fight between the combat vet and up to seven corrections deputies that ended with Edwards kneed, punched, pepper sprayed, tased, and strapped into a restraint chair with a spit hood over his head and pepper spray still on his face.

Edwards died the next day at the Rockledge Regional Medical Center.

Things That Matter.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This may be one of the hardest posts we have ever written. It is not because of the content of subject matter, but in our commentary will sometimes wander off what matters in this story – the sexual assault of a young woman in the Army by another male member in her unit. We are going to say a lot of things about the surrounding players in this but we want people to remember that no matter what we say about the peripheral political players should never outweigh and outshine what a woman went through. She is what matters. Everything else is secondary.

On July 3, a woman by the name of Daedra Lynn [Logan] made a long Facebook post concerning a sexual assault that occurred in 2011 in Colorado. (We would normally use screen shots of the post, but it is so long we transcribed the post to something that fits better here.)

Daedra Lynn [Logan]

July 3 at 11:28 AM •
**ETA Marcie Adkins for Dtstriet 53 Marcie Kinney Adkins is the female candidate that doesn’t believe me.

Friends 01 Florida ts Robert Burns political committee
The Space Coast Rocket is his media company.

•• ETA my female CPT at the time wrote Robert Burns a statement to take with him to court, for the civilian protection order. CPT Lisa Paroz, wrote him a statement for the judge to state that while she could appreciate what I had been through, she did not feel that Robert Burns III posed any threat to me.

It’s amazing the emails we keep.

I joined the Army in 2005. I was a radiology tech. Graduated basic training as Soldier of the Cycle and the high PT award winner. I graduated rad school in the top 10. Was station at Fort Polk Louisiana and served in OIF 07-09. I returned and was sent to Fort Carson Colorado and assigned to Evans Army Community Hospital.

Who Was That Masked Person?

On Tuesday, the Brevard County Commission decided not to make it a requirement that people wear masks in businesses under the guise of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, the Commission passed a resolution, which is non-binding to anyone and therefore nothing but a meaningless show of “see? We are doing something!”

County Commission Chair Bryan Lober could not get the support of other commissioners for a proposal to require people to wear face masks when in businesses, as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Seeing no backing for his proposal, Lober did not seek to bring it to a vote.

Instead, Lober put forth a nonbinding proclamation that would “strongly encourage” businesses to post their face mask policies at the entrances to their businesses.

Ivey Doesn’t Get It.

We’ve entered the Twilight Zone in the case of Gregory Edwards, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, and Edwards’ widow, Kathleen.

Over the weekend, Ivey announced that he would allow the FDLE to conduct and investigation into the death of Edwards while in the custody of the Brevard County Sheriff’s office at the County Jail.

This would be a turn around by Ivey as he had blocked the FDLE from an independent investigation of the incident at the jail not once but twice. It sounds like a good thing, but it isn’t.

This case has primarily gained local attention requesting an additional independent review by some members of our community as a result of the demonstrations currently taking place around our country following the unacceptable death of George Floyd,” Ivey said in a statement issued Saturday.

The review by the state’s top investigative agency will not involve a second investigation, as some, including Edwards’ widow, have demanded. Under the terms of the review, FDLE agents will simply go over the investigation already conducted by the Sheriff’s Office to determine its validity.

More Voices Call For Release Of Edwards Video.

“The moment I release it, I give up all of the security features that are in my jail.” – Sheriff Wayne Ivey

More voices are calling for the release of the video of an incident at the Brevard County Jail where Gregory Lloyd Edwards, a 38-year-old army medic, died while in custody of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Brevard public defender, defense lawyers call on sheriff to release jail video involving Gregory Edwards and corrections deputies

Members of a criminal defense attorney organization, along with the Brevard County Public Defender are calling for Sheriff Wayne Ivey to release a jail video showing a violent confrontation between Gregory Edwards and corrections deputies.

Edwards died the next day.

Margaret Wagner, a criminal defense attorney and representative of the Brevard chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said that lawyers and prosecutors are frequently provided videos of jail interactions and fights as part of public trials and court cases. The group has over 50 members in Brevard.

Ivey And Edwards Revisited.

It is difficult to not think of the George Floyd case these days. It is hard for us to sit here and think that the man had to die. Police and citizen interactions are always complicated. Police, by the very nature of the job, generally see the worst in people. While we are sleeping snug in our beds, they are dealing with some lowlife beating his wife. While we are at work in our 9-5 jobs, they are at the door of someone’s home telling a parent, sibling or child that their loved one won’t be coming home ever again because they were killed in a random shooting, drug overdose or accident with a DUI driver.

While we are cognizant of the job police do (and most do it well,) if there is a group that can relate to the stress, anxiety, and death of friends, it is veterans. It is the men and women who protect our country and its values who can most closely relate to the police officer on the beat.

Which brings us back to the case of veteran Gregory Edwards.

We wrote a little bit about this case the other day, saying:

Just Say “No.” Part II

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we wrote this post, it bloomed into something that is over 4000 words, which is far too long for any post – even if you have time to read it during the current pandemic. It’s too long to get through with one cup of coffee and we don’t want to be accused of creating or feeding caffeine addictions.

This is part two of a two part series. You can find part one here.

(That’s assuming we haven’t been arrested.)

Another incident of Ivey and the BCSO being above the law when a citizen was summarily removed from a press conference being held concerning the COVID-19 pandemic being held in a public area. Ivey stood by while his officer illegally removed the person. The BCSO later “defended” the action by saying they have to do what the County Commission tells them to do. In this case, Commissioner Brian Lober demanded that the person, who was not creating a disturbance, be removed. We always thought that the oath Ivey and his officers took was to the US Constitution, the State of Florida Constitution, and the local laws and not blindly follow the directions of a Commissioner.

When we wrote about this incident, we noted:

In the case of Smith v. City of Cumming, Georgia (2000), the Eleventh Circuit (which covers the State of Florida) held:

The First Amendment protects the right to gather information about what public officials do on public property, and specifically, a right to record matters of public interest. See Blackston v. Alabama, 30 F.3d 117, 120 (11th Cir.1994) (finding that plaintiffs’ interest in filming public meetings is protected by the First Amendment); Fordyce v. City of Seattle, 55 F.3d 436, 439 (9th Cir.1995) (recognizing a “First Amendment right to film matters of public interest”); Iacobucci v. Boulter, No. CIV.A. 94-10531, 1997 WL 258494 (D.Mass, Mar. 26, 1997) (unpublished opinion) (finding that an independent reporter has a protected right under the First Amendment and state law to videotape public meetings); see also United States v. Hastings, 695 F.2d 1278, 1281 (11th Cir.1983) (finding that the press generally has no right to information superior to that of the general public) (citing Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 609, 98 S.Ct. 1306, 55 L.Ed.2d 570 (1978)); Lambert v. Polk County, 723 F.Supp. 128, 133 (S.D.Iowa 1989) (“[I]t is not just news organizations … who have First Amendment rights to make and display videotapes of events….”); Thompson v. City of Clio, 765 F.Supp. 1066, 1070-71 (M.D.Ala.1991) (finding that city council’s ban on member’s attempt to record proceedings regulated conduct protected by the First Amendment); cf. Williamson v. Mills, 65 F.3d 155 (11th Cir.1995) (reversing district court’s grant of qualified immunity to a law enforcement officer who seized the film of and arrested a participant in a demonstration for photographing undercover officers). Thus, the district court erred in concluding that there was no First Amendment right. (emphasis ours)

Burns’ right to be at the meeting / press conference is well established law. There is no need for any “investigation” as to the legality of this matter at all. The law is clear.

Just Say “No.” Part I.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we wrote this post, it bloomed into something that is over 4000 words, which is far too long for any post – even if you have time to read it during the current pandemic. It’s too long to get through with one cup of coffee and we don’t want to be accused of creating or feeding caffeine addictions.

This is part one of a two part series. Part two will be posted tomorrow.

(That’s assuming we haven’t been arrested.)

Last week, Brevard County Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser announced she was resigning from her position in order to take a job in the private sector.

Brevard County Public Safety Group Director Matthew Wallace said John Scott, the county’s deputy director of emergency management and director of operations, will fill Prosser’s position on an interim basis. Scott also runs the county’s Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge when it is activated.

(As a side note, Commissioner Tobia said this about the resignation:

County Commissioner John Tobia, however, said he is not happy about the timing of Prosser’s resignation.

“I think it’s disgraceful that our emergency management director would step down in the middle of a pandemic and a week before hurricane season begins,” Tobia said.

According to the article:

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