Tuesday, November 16, 2010

JNS BLOG EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Controversial JACC Press Conference At Issue In Alfred Flowers vs. Don Samuels...

Photos and blog post by John Hoff

Look at the top photo. Look to the right. That's the hand of notorious loon-at-large Al Flowers and it's holding a live camera. Kip Browne, who is in front of the camera, recalled under oath that it was a "video camera" being held by Flowers. If so, why was this tape never introduced as evidence by the plaintiff in Alfred Flowers vs. Don Samuels? What does the tape show about the actions of Al Flowers? Even if the camera was, in fact, shooting still photos...where are they? The fact Flowers was recording with a camera is also documented, extensively, in latter portions of the "Goodmundson video," click here, for example at 5 minutes, 30 seconds.

Video tape, 911 audio, eyewitness testimony, still photos, all of these things were examined in the Alfred Flowers vs. Don Samuels "toe stepping trial," which this blog has covered in more detail than any other media entity, click here for an example.

In light of this extensive legal and historical examination of precisely what happened at that press conference...and particularly in light of such odd side issues such as "did Al Flowers have a video camera?" and "what happened between Farheen Hakeem and Council Member Don Samuels?" I thought it would be good to take all the photos I shot that day and just put them on the internet for the record. After observing the trial, I realize my small stock of photos (which were never introduced as evidence) contain some valuable insights.

First of all...

...there were, admittedly, two photos I'm not publishing in this sequence: 1 photo of a black file cabinet, and 1 photo of the messy desk where a JACC computer had been sitting which was (and still is) missing. Those photos have been published before on this blog. In fact, I've even used these images as stock photos. They add nothing to the press conference images and were taken before the conference began. But for the sake of the record: I shot two photographs of FURNITURE before the photo at the top.

Michael "Kip" Browne reading a prepared statement. He has not yet been interrupted by Al Flowers.
This image, above, was snapped right after Flowers shoved Samuels twice. I moved into this position after the shoving. I saw the whole shoving incident clearly, but NOT from this angle, rather from an angle to the right of this photo. I fully expected police to arrive because the unprovoked shoving was so clear and so many people saw it. I had my camera out because I thought more shoving might happen but in the photo above the camera was "too close to see."
Steve Jackson near Al Flowers. The head of Dokor Dejvongsa ("DD") appears in front of Al FLowers.
Al going on about something. What? He lives in Jordan? (No he doesn't) Don Samuels can be seen standing in front of Flowers, PJ Hubbard is to the left. Flowers' jacket appears darker in this photo than previous photos because the flash of my camera made the material on the jacket appear lighter. You can compare with the photo above and see it's clearly Al Flowers. The fur-lined parka is worn by Sherman Patterson, aide to Mayor Ryback.
PJ Hubbard to the left, Don Allen in the back, Al Flowers doing his wide gestures while Don Samuels stands peacefully in the front. Steve Jackson getting in the face of Don Samuels when, really, it's Al Flowers who needs the talking to. Part of "Patterson's parka" is visible to the right.
Don Samuels talking to Farheen Hakeem. You can see how calm Don is and how emotional Farheen is getting. What did Don say to Farheen? Something like: you ran for public office. You were a promising young lady. Now you associate with marginal people and with crazies. Harsh words. Farheen needed to hear those words, but it's doubtful the words will have much impact. Instead of disassociating herself from "marginal people and crazies" Farheen just drives further into the dark, disorderly streets of Crazy Town.

Al Flowers in background, turned away from camera. PJ Hubbard to the left.
Farheen is really emotionally revved up in this photo. Don doesn't agree with what she's saying, but he's obviously calm. In the background, Steve Jackson talks to Al Flowers and Ben Myers is also talking to Flowers while making a hand gesture. Don Allen looks on.

Steve Jackson in the foreground, Al Flowers to the left, Kenya Weathers (previously called "Puffy Jacket guy" at the JACC board meeting where the old officers were ousted) and Ben Myers holding his nose.
After the police arrived and hauled Al Flowers outside, lots of folks ran out to see what was happening. I had my camera above my head, trying to aim and capture what was happening. This photo only got the top of PJ Hubbard's head, (foreground) and Farheen Hakeem in front of PJ. I think the guy in the black jacket is the husband of E.B. Brown.

This photo does capture the fact that Farheen jumped right in the jostle of people at the door. She wasn't all, like, "Oh, oh, don't touch me." Farheen appears to pull out her whole "oh, oh, don't touch me, for I am Muslim and don't like to be touched" in an opportunistic manner.
Pointing my camera toward the door. Just beyond the door, the back of Al Flowers and the top of a police officer's shaven head are just barely visible. The women turned with her mouth open is "Bertha" something. She is a fifth ward DFL politico who lives in the Lynn Park neighborhood of North Minneapolis. The person with the black hat to the left is believed to be Al McFarlane of Insight News. To the right, you can see Megan Goodmundson pointing her camera out the door. It is believed the tall guy in the middle is Sherman Patterson, but he is no longer wearing his parka.
Al Flowers being hauled away by police. Ben Myers is proclaiming himself Al's attorney. Steve Jackson is at the side of Al Flowers. Kenya Weathers follows near. E.B. Brown's husband hands to the back.
Up close and personal with the police.
Still up close and personal. Why wasn't Al Flowers charged with a crime? Now that the trial in federal court is over, why isn't Al Flowers being charged with a crime?
Myers talks to the police. Al Flowers is off to the right near another police officer. The hand on Al Flowers doesn't appear to be Flowers' hand, but possibly that of a police officer. Blowing up the photo, I can actually see a wedding band on the hand. What did that officer tell his wife that night about his day? It's times like this I want to make a point of repeating the mantra of the forces of revitalization: GOD BLESS THE FOURTH PRECINCT.
Myers and others look on as Jackson discusses something with two police officers, while Flowers is present.
I kept waiting for the "money shot" of Flowers being handcuffed and hauled away in a squad car. It never happens.
Back inside the press conference: "DD" is talking to Browne. Slumlord Keith Reitman, unshaven as usual, is to the left. The jacket of Zack Metoyer is visible above Reitman.
Browne making a point. Alexandra and Tyrone Jaramillo are in the background. Dan Rother is over Browne's shoulder. With Flowers gone, a vital community discussion manages to finally take place. The issue of "I got four people who says you're illegal" wasn't being hidden: the press conference was held to address these very issues. The court system saw the rightness in the "New Majority" JACC position all the way. Al Flowers, with his anachronistic shouts of "Black power!" is an actual hindrance to social progress in a diverse neighborhood that--Old and New Majority--voted overwhelmingly for Obama.
In the foreground, in glasses, Anna Pratt, a freelance journalist. The woman behind Pratt may be Jules Inda, the wife of Pat Carney who took a number of photos at the JACC press conference, but identification is uncertain. Dokor Dejvongsa sits with paperwork next to notorious slumlord Keith Reitman. Zack Metoyer stands in a brown leather jacket. Batman (Flowers) is being assailed by his enemies, why isn't Robin (Metoyer) out there helping?
Lisa Mitchell of the Hawthorne Neighborhood sits next to Barb Johnson, City Council president. In the back, in red, is Georgianna Yantos.
Now I'm back outside again wondering if Flowers is going to be arrested, finally. Flowers looks very unhappy about something Ben Myers is saying.
Back inside, people manage to have a question-and-answer session. The events of the press conference wind down. Even the assault might very well have been forgiven and forgotten, but then Al Flowers had to sue the man he shoved. The question still hangs in the air: where are the logical consequences for this outrageous behavior?


Patrick said...

Can we get onto something else? This was cool when the trial was on but now that we know the outcome it's quite dull and i'd rather see more direct community related items here. How about focusing on dirty looking businesses or loitering persons performing illegal acts?

Anonymous said...

Why were you not charged with disorderly conduct for disrupting the Fjelde meeting?
I don't think you quite get how much alike you and Flowers are.
You both have missions and go about accomplishing them in similar fashion.
You both attack your missions with a passion.
You both can't see that some of what you do is wrong.
You both need to have your mama's slap you upside the head and teach you some manners.

Johnny Northside! said...

Patrick: Oh, your concern about the community is quite touching. I'm glad to say that while I was writing THIS, Hawthorne Hawkman addressed the "dirty looking business" topic.

To Anonymous: There is a difference between disrupting a meeting and refusing to stop versus being called out of order, and immediately stopping. In all the time I've been in Minneapolis, that is the ONLY time I've been that loud and harsh in a public meeting, and it was over a century old house that never should have been demolished under those circumstances. So maybe it will happen once a century, which I think anybody is entitled to.

By the way, your use of "mama" should be plural, not possessive, so no need for an apostrophe. Also (parody font) if you read about Big Mama Sweetums you'd realize both me and Ben Myers used to get slapped upside the head ALL THE TIME, but I think it's pretty obvious Ben got slapped harder.

boathead said...

I think Anonymous 9:00(a Mayan cinematic classic soon in a theater near you) meant that Al(uncut) Flowers' doctor should've slapped himself for delivering Al unto the world.But here Al sits brokenhearted,payed his lawyer who only farted.So, Al starts shoving people around and somehow managed not to go downtown.So you lost,Al, don't let it get you down Homey.Pull up your Pay-less bootstraps and i will ponder whether yesterdays leaders are rolling over in their graves laughing or crying.What a shame.

Anonymous said...

To Boathead: Remember to take your pills Michael, they'll make you feel better.

To JNS: You have an answer for everything don't ya. I can see why your mama slapped you. Maybe your daddy should have used the back of his hand, or a bat. Cuz you apparently didn't get the lesson.

boathead said...

To Anonymous 4:11,your'e a good sport and i appreciate that.You obviously can take shit and dole it out too.Now i would like to pose a question to all of you out there.Do we want to continue to let this system of Government keep pulling us apart?Do we let them think they are winning as they keep us at each others throats? Do we raise up and tell them we are on to their racist game? When are we as a people going to stand up to these rich motherfuckers and tell them we are tired of their racist head games that they use to pit the elements of society against each other? Wake up folks this bullshit has got to come to an end and they are still trying to run us into the ground as they laugh all the way to the bank with our money. That element of society loves to see two proud Black men go at each other because then they know their shit is working,We have got to come together or we are fucked.WAKE UP!! That's all. Now i have to go take my pills.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Kenya Weathers is trying to even get involved in anything like this. From what I know he smokes " dope " mentally and physically abuse his disabled son ! Still beats on woman and he's tried to even kill a couple of his babymama's !! He has 10 kids that he doesnt take care of that live in Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan and god knows where else he might have kids. And he doesnt give a dam about black folks thats all a front, he's a militant !! He's muslim and he believes in Jihad so all this crap about helping the community please, he's trying to find somebody and anybody he can use to get ahead. He's a bum. He lives off women and doesnt have nothing to his name, go get yourself some mental help Kenya because you are the devil. It's so much evil to this man the best thing to do is stay away from him !!

Johnny Northside! said...

I am withholding, for now, an anonymous blog comment with very specific and detailed information about Kenya Weathers.

To the anonymous commenter: Can you provide dates, names, links to some kind of official records to back up what you are saying?