As I tackle Day 9 of my Hunger Strike for Justice in Surry County, Virginia, I think it’s time we stepped back and took a look at the BIG PICTURE.
In this big picture, we have a record of Surry County Commonwealth Attorney making the news and blogosphere for obstructing justice in the Michael Vick case as early as June of 2007. Many possible reasons are put forward, as in this blog by Van Walker, http://alwaysrightaboutsports.blogspot.com/2007/06/gerald-poindexter-must-go.html
In it Walker cites possible reasons that a man with the power to make a name for himself as a strong, honest, and forward thinking DA would instead obstruct an investigation and refuse to go forward with prosecution. These include, among many others, “Maybe he, personally, has no problem with dog-fighting, even if the people of his state have felt strongly enough about it to deem it a felony, even if most people find the very idea disgusting and morally repugnant. Maybe he thinks that a whole lotta trouble has been raised up over what a man does with his dogs on the privacy of his own land. He’d be wrong to think like this, but maybe he thinks this way anyway.”
Regardless of the actual reasons that Poindexter obstructed the case so severely that the feds had to come in and take over, and any way you slice it, the bottom line is that he cared not one whit about what happened to the dogs at Bad Newz Kennels. Chained for life, fought repeatedly, bred to produce better fighting machines, tortured and broken, hung and murdered and buried in the ground—all that meant nothing to him.
When he finally filed animal cruelty charges against Vick to appease the slathering masses, he then snuck back when we weren’t looking and dropped these same animal cruelty charges before trial. DROPPED THEM. He held in his hands probably one of the tightest cases of animal cruelty ever on record— 9 dead bodies dug out of the ground, witnesses to the events, and Vick’s own testimony of guilt in the deaths—and he DROPS THE CHARGES?
Although everyone in the dog rights movement was beside themselves with anger, and many called for an investigation into Poindexter (even sports bloggers like this one http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2008/11/25/an-open-call-for-an-investigation-of-gerald-poindexter/), Poindexter’s misconduct was never looked into or investigated.
Whatever Poindexter’s motivation was in allowing Vick to walk, there’s not one single doubt in anyone’s mind that the abuse heaped upon those dogs didn’t even make Poindexter’s radar.
Poindexter didn’t and still doesn’t care one whit about the welfare of dogs.
Fast forward a couple years, to another local dog advocate in Surry County, who’s name I won’t reveal, who made Poindexter’s radar; she told me that Poindexter got her in her face and told her that he hated animal activists. Makes sense.
Does the picture start to come into focus for you a little bit?
Jump ahead another couple years, and Dogs Deserve Better and yours truly, Tamira Thayne, show up on the scene, excited to turn the Bad Newz Kennels into the Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs. Our vision wasn’t and never was about punishing Vick. To me that’s not a positive goal, and I didn’t then and still don’t waste my time in wishing bad on Vick. That only brings me more negative energy, the last thing I need or want.
What we wanted was to bring light to a place of darkness, to bring love and joy and peace and happiness to a place where dogs previously only knew cruelty and pain and suffering. I wanted to memorialize what went on here to show the future where we were in a dark time and remember the past so that we never return in the future.
I thought if Surry County were not on board with us, at least they wouldn’t actively move to harm an agency who came here to do good and make themselves look even worse in the end, would they?
I admit to a rather annoying tendency to believe the best in people until it’s proven otherwise to me. I also admit to naively thinking Surry County would be HAPPY to have us here, to turn around any of the bad attention the county got after the Vick case. I had no idea the level of cruelty toward fellow humans and corruption we would run into as we tried to make a rescue home for our dogs.
(I DO apologize to those of you in the county who are actually happy to have us here. I have met many of you, and I am grateful. And there are many others who don’t care one way or the other. I’m fine with that too.)
Surry County by and large was chosen by Vick because he knew he could get away with dogfighting here. I don’t know what exactly about the county led him to believe that, whether Poindexter was directly involved, but you can bet your bottom dollar he thought conditions were favorable to what he was doing or he would have chosen another location.
You’ve seen photos of our dog Jada who was seized the day I was arrested for cruelty. A perfectly gorgeous pit bull, not one mark on her, is seized without even being listed on a search warrant. Highly illegal and JUST Why? Did she maybe look TOO GOOD for AC and Poindexter?
And his refusal to arrest the former employee Deana Whitfield for embezzling who went to them with trumped up animal cruelty complaints after she knew she was being investigated? This is corruption of the highest order.
In fact, yesterday Poindexter told Wanda Smith—who sat for me while I attended a thyroid doctor appointment in McLean, VA—that he wasn’t charging Deana Whitfield on the embezzling charges because she just made an ERROR IN CALCULATION.
This is not Poindexter’s call to make. He is not Deana Whitfield’s defense attorney, he’s supposed to be her PROSECUTOR. That is the job for her defense attorney and for a jury or judge to decide. Can you say once again, obstruction of justice?
Then, he told supporter Miriam who called him to pass along a message to me: “Tell your friend to pack up her organization and leave Surry County. We don’t want her here.”
If there was doubt in ANYONE’s mind as to whether the charges against me were trumped up in an attempt to be rid of DDB, they should be gone now.
What kind of Commonwealth Attorney, an emissary of the LAW, has the RIGHT to talk to anyone like that, least of all the VICTIM of the CRIME of alleged EMBEZZLEMENT?
I’m calling for Poindexter to immediately recuse himself from ANY and all legal cases with regard to Dogs Deserve Better. He is and always has been prejudiced against us, and he cannot be involved anymore, period. I’m calling for the Attorney General to immediately investigate this misconduct, and I’m calling for another duly appointed attorney to go forward with embezzlement charges against Ms. Whitfield.
I’m calling for justice.
Make no bones about it, this is a dog’s rights war, and an attempt to get rid of the dog activist and her organization who had the nerve to come to Surry County. This is not about ANY concern for the welfare of dogs, this is a conspiracy and corruption of the lowest order.
If you love your dog and you hate what is going on and has gone on here in Surry County, Virginia, please start making some phone calls and e-mails to the following places. This is a war, and are we going to allow the side THAT HATES DOGS and all those who serve them to win AGAIN? Please just say NO. Help me today.
I’m on Day 9 of my Hunger Strike for Justice in Surry County, and from my doctor’s visit on Monday, I’m down 10 pounds since I started last week. Although as a woman that’s always a good thing, this is not the preferred way to do it. I am and have been weak and sick for the last seven days. Stand by my side and insist on justice in Surry County. Thank you.
Office of the Attorney General
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
to e-mail: http://www.ag.virginia.gov/ContactUsForm/ContactForm.aspx
Office of the Governor
Patrick Henry Building
3rd Floor 1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
to email: http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm
Office: (804) 786-2211 Fax: (804) 371-6351
Visit the webpage to view all the evidence of this case: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/surrycounty.html