Friday, November 28, 2014

FBI, PBSO and the Guatelmala Maya Center

On Wednesday there was a story about about the Guatemalan Maya Center (GMC) and the FBI searching for certain documents at PBSO by John Lantigua. You can read the article here. Here is a short excerpt:
The FBI is investigating complaints from the Guatemalan community of unnecessary use of force by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Father Frank O’Loughlin, director of the Guatemala Mayan Center in Lake Worth, confirmed Wednesday that he had been visited Oct. 31 by two FBI agents in response to a letter of complaint written to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
Remember, this story comes on the heels of another story in Lake Worth, the protest organized by EarthFirst against PBSO, in which Father O'Laughlin of the GMC was also present. You can read my account of that protest on Thursday, October 23rd.

If you remember back, I was in the protest group's "cross-hairs" for "ruining" the protest on Wednesday, 10/23. All I did was show up with a camera and take some pictures and make a simple, non-editorial collage of the event. One of the pictures that I took was a man carrying a "PBSO Deputies Are Worthless" sign. There was much rancor about me taking that picture however it was THEIR protest and the sign was THERE. The anger, in my opinion is/was misdirected. If any lessons were learned it's if you have a protest you should do a better job controlling your message and the protesters in attendance. And don't be afraid of others that report about what happened during it. Why did such a protest need to be a secret?

Also keep in mind I would have never been at the protest had it not been for a "Fire Ant" Steve Ellman story in the Broward New Times. It was his story the morning of the protest that was sent to me by a reader. In that article was a Facebook link also. I discovered the protest that day apparently was by "invitation only". Our friend at the New Times forgot to include that caveat. So, who was in on the protest to being within the "Hall of Mirrors" world in which we live?

I conclude the following: Any investigation by the FBI of a PBSO deputy or incident will take months, or possibly longer, to come to an end. The vast majority of residents in Palm Beach County and Lake Worth in particular understand this fact. But for small groups and some particular individuals, this story by John Lantigua in the Post will be used as 'ammunition', if you will. One such group, EarthFirst led by former city commissioner/Anarchist Cara Jennings and Anarchist Panagioti Tsolkas, has no love lost for PBSO and will use any 'news' to its advantage. One could ask the question, whom is informing whom?

In the coming weeks, I will be doing some research on those few years before PBSO came to Lake Worth to take over for the Lake Worth PD. For those of relative newcomers to Lake Worth you'll come to understand how terrible our situation was here in the city. The city is experiencing a revival and that would simply not be possible without the work of PBSO.