Quick Vick Update – 8/1/07
Michael has his supporters, his detractors, lost his endorsements, has a PR team now, has a new lawyer and may face additional charges….. read on for more.
Vick co-defendant, Tony Taylor, pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities, and conspiring to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture and will no doubt be cooperating in building the case against Vick, Purnell A. Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach and Quanis L. Phillips, 28, of Atlanta. He basically collaborates the statements in the indictment and further said that Michael Vick bankrolled the dogfighting operation.
Michael Vick also hired himself a PR team to try to turn his image around. “He wants people to know the real Michael Vick,” said Collins Spencer III of Atlanta-based Spencer & Associates, “not the picture that has been painted over the last couple of weeks.” Spencer, hired by Daniel Meachum, one of Vick’s lawyers, said Friday he is one of three public relations professionals on board to “change the tide of public opinion.”
So now I wonder how long it will be before we start hearing the stories of ‘innocent pawn’ or some such? Poor Michael Vick, first he was taken advantage of by his family, now I guess he’ll be claiming to have been taken advantage of by his friends!
And what about the innocent victims of this horror? What about the dogs that were seized in April? Right now there are over 60 dogs scattered throughout different shelters and kennels in Virginia whose fate is as of yet undecided. Most, if not all, will most probably be euthanized.
“Officials from our organization have examined some of these dogs and, generally speaking, they are some of the most aggressively trained pit bulls in the country,” Wayne Pacelle, the president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “Hundreds of thousands of less-violent pit bulls, who are better candidates to be rehabilitated, are being put down. The fate of these dogs will be up to the government, but we have recommended to them, and believe, they will be eventually put down.”
Pacelle said the Humane Society normally advocated that fighting dogs be put down shortly after being seized.
“Four months is a long time, a long time to be warehoused,” he said. “They may be walked only once a day, if that. We don’t know how well they are being kept. They are likely being held in cages for months on end.”
But Pacelle said his organization supported the government’s efforts. “It is lose-lose for the dogs,” he said. â€œThey either die a gruesome death as a dogfighter in action, or they will be killed because they are not adoptable.” (NY Times)
In June the feds seized control of the dogs but the dogs have remained in those warehoused locations while the local and federal investigations have continued. No one from the public is permitted to see them, said James Smith, the county’s animal control officer.
And sadly, though not expectantly, racism has become an issue. The Surrey County courthouse has received emails, phone calls and letters, many of them racial in nature. When are people going to understand that this has nothing to do with racism? It’s about illegal activities and heinous cruelty!
NAACP has stepped up in defense and support of Michael Vick.
R.L. White, president of NAACP’s Atlanta chapter, says Vick has been unfairly criticized by animal rights groups, talk radio and the news media, and prematurely punished by his team and corporate sponsors.
“If Mr. Vick is guilty, he should pay for his crime, but to treat him as he is being treated now is also a crime,” White said at a news conference. “Be restrained in your premature judgment until the legal process is completed.”
“We’re not condoning bad behavior, but Michael Vick is innocent until proven guilty,” said Georgia NAACP President Edward Dubose. (EUR Web)
The support by NAACP and SCLC has brought a scathing response from Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Founder and President of BOND (Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny) who is outraged by the double standard exhibited by these ‘civil rights’ groups and released the following statement:
“The NAACP and the SCLC are so corrupt and racist that they’re oblivious to their own hypocrisy. The groups have no objectivity or proper sense of moral outrage against any black offenders. These same groups didn’t have a problem rushing to judgment during the Duke rape scandal when three innocent white athletes were wrongfully accused of raping a black female. Their outrage only applies to white offenses, real or contrived.
“Michael Vick is not a victim of racism. He will have his day in court and he’s wealthy enough to afford the best legal representation money can buy. But for the leader of a civil rights group once associated with Dr. King to state that blacks should support Vick ‘no matter what the evidence reveals,’ demonstrates just how morally bankrupt modern day civil rights groups have become and how little respect they have for the character of black Americans.” (EarnedMedia)
Vick has also hired a new high profile attorney to work with his team of lawyers. James D. “Butch” Williams has joined the five-person team working on Vick’s case, said Collins Spencer, who is handling public relations for the defense team. Williams will join William Robert “Billy Martin, a Washington, D.C, lawyer, Daniel Ray “Meach” Meachum, an Atlanta attorney, and Thomas B. Shuttleworth and Larry Woodward Jr., both of Virginia Beach.
Williams, a Durham lawyer, also works as an agent for professional athletes, including two of Vick’s fellow Falcons. Martin has defended other notables such as Monica Lewinsky and Duke lacrosse team in the recent rape case. Martin and Meachum collaborated on actor Wesley Snipes’ recent tax-fraud case. Shuttleworth and Woodward helped defend peninsula native and NBA player Allen Iverson against charges stemming from a fight in a bowling alley in 1993.
Then we have Deion Sander writing a column that sounds like he’s defending Michael Vick and has drawn scathing comment from readers, other reporters and the public in general. He was not allowed to publish a subsequent column regarding Michael Vick which attempted to explain his statements such as;
I would’ve never thought Mike Vick, one of the NFL’s most exciting players ‘the man who makes the network execs smile every time he plays’ would ever be indicted for crimes against man’s best friend.
The potential impact could be devastating.
He could lose millions worth of endorsements. Nike has already suspended the release of his new shoe. He could lose millions he was supposed to get from the Atlanta Falcons, if the club decides to cut him. That’s unlikely, but it could happen if he’s convicted or makes a plea arrangement.
Or his reputation might wind up so stained that he’s never forgiven in the court of public opinion. That would be too bad for the 27-year-old superstar.
This is all the result of perspective.
I don’t see how any kind of perspective could lessen the impact of what Michael Vick has been ‘alleged’ of doing! Read the rest of Deion’s column, it only gets worse. And this after Clinton Portis’ comment earlier, “But it’s his property; it’s his dogs. If that’s what he wants to do, do it.”
And the prosecutor in the case against Vick says he intends to seek an additional indictment, possibly for racketeering, next month.
Tony Taylor, Vick’s co-defendant who pled guilty yesterday, might help the government make a case for racketeering against Vick. The “Summary of Facts” Taylor signed says: “Taylor agrees that Bad Newz Kennels qualifies as a ‘business enterprise’ that engaged in a continuous course of conduct and series of transactions in furtherance of…dog fighting….”
Experts on criminal trial procedure, both prosecution and defense, agree: that language suggests that the feds plan to bring racketeering charges. (WDBJ7)
To read the entire 19 page indictment, download it HERE
To read Tony Taylor’s Statement of Facts, download it HERE
For more background and information as well as all up to date related posts, please see – Michael Vick and Dogfighting
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