Second Law Enforcement Officer in Disbelief Over School Shooting
By James F. Tracy
Alongside the Facebook posts and unusual death of Broward County Deputy Jason Fitzsimons a second South Florida law enforcement officer is using social media to publicly question the February 14, 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
Over the past several weeks Ericson Harrell of the North Miami Police Department has taken to Facebook to share ideas and insights with like-minded critical thinkers on complex issues and events. He’s been asking important questions about the Parkland massacre that are making corporate media heavily invested in the narrative increasingly uncomfortable. As a result several regional news outlets have lashed out at the skeptic, prompting his employer to open an internal investigation of Harrell’s potential “thought crimes.”
The day after the Valentine’s Day shooting, for example, the North Miami police officer pondered in one post,
“What if the cops went into school and shot and kill[ed] some students?! Would they be forthcoming? Lawsuits would help to find out.”
Elsewhere Harrell observes the more-than-subtle psychological warfare being waged on the public through the prevalent use of terms like “active shooter,” to gear individuals toward anticipating an increasingly militarized society.
In another post he references the April 3 YouTube campus shooting in California to suggest how the bizarre scenario could conceivably be used by the state to clamp down on online speech.
Being a police officer himself, Harrell has some thoughtful takes on mass shootings–some that major news media might learn a good deal from. This is of course assuming such organizations are genuinely concerned with producing journalism.
In a February 19 dispatch, quoted in the Miami Herald, “Harrell questioned why some mass shooters have chosen to terrorize more affluent cities like Parkland. ‘Have you noticed,'” Harrell begins, how
these “mass school shootings” occur in wealthy communities?” he asked. “Then afterwards millions of dollars are dumped into them. Payoff money??”
This is something we at MemoryHoleBlog began to repeatedly question by late 2013, when the Obama administration began shoveling large amounts of money to communities playing host to such incidents.
In a Feb. 21 post, according to the Miami Herald, Officer Harrell asked why those being accused of playing roles as “crisis actors” in made-for-television shooting aftermaths “like Cameron Kasky, haven’t brought their accusers to court.
“Why hasn’t anybody accused of being a crisis actor filed a single defamation lawsuit?” he said, quoting another Facebook page. “Could it be because truth is an absolute defense?”
Elsewhere, Harrell notes how a recent series produced by Vice Media, an organization touting itself as critically-minded and “independent,” uses Saul Alinsky-style methods of appeal by turning the rhetorical table on those analyzing the Sandy Hook massacre event.
Harrell’s recent posts, such as those below, also suggest support of the US Constitution’s overwhelmingly popular Second Amendment.
In contrast to the virtual news blackout of Fitzsimons’ death, corporate news media have seized upon and publicized Harrell’s critical posts and workplace fallout. Accompanying this reportage is a resounding chorus of incredulity over his remarks (e.g. here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) .
A particularly inflammatory April 7 article published in the Miami Herald pits Harrell against Jeff Kasky, the parent of “shooting survivor” and gun control “student activist” Cameron Kasky. The two spent roughly a year together at policy academy, according to Kasky, who recalls Harrell as a “‘terrific leader’ and a brother.”
“This guy knows me personally,” Kasky said. “How can he possibly think that this is true?” Ominously, however, Kasky states that Harrell is “not the Eric that I know.” In 2013 Kasky claims to have “reached out to Harrell” through Facebook.
Soon after, he said, it was apparent Harrell had become a subscriber to the “conspiracy theory subculture” that believes 9/11 was an “inside job” and the government is controlling the weather.
As a result Kasky “deleted Harrell as a friend. “‘I haven’t been in touch with him for years,'” Kasky said.
Because of the recent media attention to Harrell’s online speech his employer has reassigned him to desk duty and placed him under investigation. Recent posts to his Facebook page over the past several months, including those addressing the Parkland event, are now private.
@myNMBPolice, official statement regarding Officer Ericson Harrell: Officer Harrell has been placed on administrative duty with pay pending an internal review. No further statement will be made at this time.
— North Miami Beach PD (@myNMBPolice) April 9, 2018
The Sun-Sentinel reports that Harrell was previously reprimanded by his employer for purportedly inordinate social media use at the workplace, including visits to “conspiracy theory-related websites during work hours.” In 2013 Harrell was also arrested for wearing a Guy Fawkes mask during a public protest. According to the Sentinel. in 2013 Plantation Florida police arrested Harrell,
saying he refused to take off a mask during a one-man public protest against Obamacare on the sidewalk. Officers asked him repeatedly to remove his smiling, mustached Guy Fawkes mask … The Broward State Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute Harrell on charges of obstructing traffic and violating an anti-mask law. In dismissing the charges, a prosecutor concluded the anti-mask law was vague, and that Harrell would argue a constitutional rights violation.
Contrary to the flurry of press reports waxing indignant on Harrell’s social media commentary, a brief interview with activist group We Are Change (below) depicts the North Miami policeman as a fairly mild-mannered and down-to-earth guy.
As John Milton once famously observed, “They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them of their blindness.” In this vein Ericson Harrell’s predicament demonstrates how an almost entirely corrupt and duplicitous American news media operate hand-in-glove with government agencies to flagrantly promote mass casualty event narratives while using the semblance of professionalism to legitimize and instill such narratives in the public mind. In this way major news media are abusing the severely limited public trust they still possess.
When honest citizens like Harrell are fittingly incredulous and express rudimentary analytical skills in the light of day the same news media mobilize to denigrate such speech through coordinated negative publicity that they know will threaten the targeted individual’s livelihood. More than ever, the ideals behind the First Amendment are being hijacked and squandered by those who traffic in censorship, lies and falsehood.