Dover Delaware, 2012

On October 6, 2012 in Dover Delaware this blogger was confronted with claims of a lynching, an attempted lynching and a cover up that were not immediately credible ... Here is my weblog as I struggle to place in some kind of order all the information coming in since then. Although the topics in this blog have grown beyond the original case, still ongoing and unsolved to the minds of many, the focus is the same. Equal protection under the law.

Friday, December 14, 2012

What is a lynching?

"Lynch's Law", referring to organized but unauthorized punishment of criminals, became a common phrase, as was used by Charles Lynch to describe his actions as early as 1782. Variations of the term, such as "lynch law", "judge lynch", and "lynching", were standard entries in American and British English dictionaries by the 1850s. In 1811 a man named Captain William Lynch claimed that the phrase, by then famous, actually came from a 1780 compact signed by him and his neighbors inPittsylvania County, Virginia, to uphold their own brand of law independent of legal authority. The obscurity of the Pittsylvania County compact compared to the well-known actions of Charles Lynch casts doubt on it being the source of the phrase. From wiki

  To many lynching means hanging a black person to terrorize and suppress other black people. While this kind of activity has certainly become a shameful part of America's history, whites have also been lynched.

   Lynching humiliates and violates the victim publicly and serves as a warning to others. Lynching is carried out by a mob and it's actions are extra-legal. That is to say illegal, criminal. People committing a crime to combat wrong. Like having coitus to promote virginity.

   Lynching in today's parlance can have results other than death. Sometimes people are destroyed in the media, sometimes wrongly. Richard Jewell comes to mind. A security guard wrongly accused of planting a bomb so he could be a 'hero' and discover it.

  Mr. Jewell was vindicated eventually. I have heard one litigator express an opinion that what happened to Eric Bodenweiser was a lynching.

  Eric is a colleague. He ran a campaign to be the republican nominee for the 19th State Senate District in Delaware. I was at Bodie headquarters when we learned on primary night that Eric had won a bitter and hard fought campaign. Some of the attacks on Eric seemed beyond the pale. He ran a clean campaign and the voters responded. I was proud to have worked on his campaign. With no money to give it was my contribution to breaking up the club in Dover.

  While Eric and I don't agree on everything, I believed that he was truly an outsider that would not play 'go along to get along' with the corruption in our government. Sometimes described hereabouts as 'The Delaware way'. When our politicians say bi-partisan in Delaware it really really means we are getting screwed. Double.

  Yes, we thought the attacks on Eric had been vicious. We hadn't seen anything yet. An accuser who just happens to a convicted felon on probation right now for a violent crime involving attempted strangulation and witness tampering decides to make 25 year old allegations. The A.G. ( comatose in many civil rights cases, as we will discuss on this blog ) jumps into action and indicts Eric for 113 felony sex crimes involving a young boy.

   The media jumps all over this and chants 113 113 while most forget to report on the recent criminal history of the accuser. Not mentioned is that even though Eric's family owned a chain of convenience stores and he had access to untold numbers of children no other allegations have come out.

 Eric is on house arrest, and watched his election stolen by a walk on republican who will follow the course of the man Eric beat in the primary. Vice President Joe Biden even congratulated Eric after the election because the departments of elections was not able to change the web displayed candidate name from Eric to the replacement. Joe must not have been reading any Delaware newspapers. Probably busy.

  Scant reporting is done when Eric's first amendment rights are violated by a capricious order from a Judge denying Eric's request to worship at his church. Even after the Pastor files a safety plan including an escort for Eric to and from his car and the probation officer recommends the visit. Possibly cruel and unusual punishment as well. All this and the man is presumably innocent until proven guilty?

  Dr. Jahi Issa could be called the victim of an academic lynching at this point in time. An opponent of management practices at Delaware State University he is arrested on March 1, 2012 when his students rally at the Martin Luther King Student Center to walk to the public board of trustees meeting. Chief Downes of DSU public safety gives a different story in court on December 4, 2012 than the narrative given by DSU spokesman Carlos Holmes to the Dover Post on March 2, 2012.

  Chief Downes testifies under oath that he only touched Dr. Issa in a calming manner by placing his right hand on Dr. Issa's shoulder, whereupon Dr. Issa hit him with a forearm blow to the chest. Well, check out this video and you tell me:

Yet the state still wants to prosecute Dr. Issa to endorse the illegal actions of DSU public safety personnel. So the man is fired from his job, struggling, discredited, academically lynched.

 In 1903 there was a recorded lynching in Delaware. The victim was burned. He got away and they had to throw him back on the fire and burn him again.

    Let's talk about what's not lynching. At least officially. In Dover Delaware when you have two black men hanging from trees by their own belts in public, a racist leaflet campaign, and an assault victim with a cut under his left ear, a stab wound in his mouth, and a ligature mark on his neck? Well that ain't no lynching!

  That's a couple of rare but unfortunate suicides, and a liar who is a criminal making up a story. Guess Mr. Fordham stabbed himself? I suppose that Johnny 'snipes' Clark ( who was called snipes on the street because of his affinity for firearms ) and Charles Conley ( 19 year old freshman and star athlete ) just happened to both commit suicide with their own belts in public within two years and a quarter mile of each other?

  That racist flyer? Printer malfunction?

  Thank goodness there's no lynching in Dover! I mean because it's not in the paper or anything is it? Oh wait... 

 Spoke to officials from Delaware's Human Relations Council today. More on that in another post. Stay tuned, because this show never ends. There will always be evil in the world. It only gets better when each of us does what we can to chip away at it.

   There are those among us who will not rest until this is resolved. Then we'll find another battle I expect.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Delaware's strange fruit 12/13 by DrX J douggiestyle | Blog Talk Radio

Delaware's strange fruit 12/13 by DrX J douggiestyle | Blog Talk Radio

An introduction to reports of lynchings, attempted lynching, and an official cover up in Dover Delaware.
With Dr. Jahi Issa ( Phd, U.S. History) and Doug Beatty ( local political activist)

You can hear the recorded show at this link:  You can use the embedded player or there is a link to use your own player. If you right click on the "Play in your default player" link you can also save an .m3U audio file to your hard drive.

 Thanks to Dave for joining us and his work as well!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Delaware, racist or just corrupt?

  In the early spring of 2012 I had enough and decided to become politically active. From the unsolved black on black homicide of my neighbor in 2006 that nobody was trying to solve to shenanigans from the County I was at the end of my rope.

 First I wrote polite emails, then impolite emails, then batpoop crazy disturbing emails. Eventually I thought about running for office. Explored a primary against Governor Markell, got a little press and radio coverage before I decided to leave the Democratic Party and run for the 34th district representative as an Independent. I got my clock cleaned.

  On October 6 2012 my campaign basically stopped. That day I met Dr. Jahi Issa. The doctor had some allegations that were very disturbing. A man had been lynched, another man had been abducted by the killers and had escaped with injuries but the police weren't doing anything about it, he himself had been 'set up' and arrested for no reason at Delaware State University during a student protest.

   I now know for a fact that Dover Police are refusing to investigate Henry Fordham's complaint of assault on September 21, 2012 by what Fordham says are two white males who resided in his neighborhood until the day of the assault. According to police Fordham lied to them about how he came to be in the company of his attackers and he is 'known to them'.

Neither of which gives anyone the right to assault Fordham or relieves the police of their duty to collect evidence and arrest criminals on complaint of crime.

  Fordham had a nasty cut under his left ear, had been stabbed in the mouth on the left side of his face, and had a ligature mark on his neck.  He identified his assailants by first name, description, and address. Neighborhood residents confirm that the two individuals named by Fordham were at their residence the morning that Fordham was attacked until 'word got out and people started talking' then they left. Both of their first names are known and the last name of one man is known.

 I can also confidently state that Delaware State University has changed it's narrative of the reason for arresting Dr. Issa ( he has been fired from his job of Associate Professor at DSU ) and both narratives have fatal flaws. Namely that they are both bullshit.

  The deaths by hanging from trees with their own belts of Johnny Clark at Silver Lake Park in May 2012 and Charles Conley in the alley off of 200 N. Governor's Ave in October 2010 are both officially suicides. There is some question of this finding from friends, relatives and some in the local community. I don't have any definitive answers on the suicides, never having seen the official records. They remain question marks in my mind.

 I saw a video of the arrest on December 5, 2012 that perfectly matched the version of the event that Dr. Issa had consistently been describing since I had met him on October 6, 2012.

 What I do know is that Dr. Issa is being falsely prosecuted. I can only speculate as to motive, I know that is what's happening. I do know that Dover Police Department is refusing to take the complaint of Henry Fordham seriously and that somebody definitely assaulted him at Silver Lake Park in the early morning of 2012. I know that nobody even bothered to collect evidence when my neighbor was killed. A slug was actually left in my wall and I was told to call in if I found it. So much for chain of custody.

   Are these events occurring due to incompetence/arrogance/corruption or is there institutional racism in Delaware? I suspect a combination, other activists I'm working with believe complicity and a white supremist elite are at work. Time will tell.

  What we know  is that the First State is the one the civil rights movement missed. Please help us get out the word.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dr. Jahi "Dred Scott" Issa

Dr. Issa and three of his children. 

 In February of 2012 a racist flyer reaches the notice of an Associate Professor employed by Delaware State University. DSU is a historically black college or university or HBCU. The flyer depicts a lynching and contains offensive and violent racially charged rhetoric directed against African Americans and other people  with dark skin.

 Dr. Issa has a phd in American History specializing in the African American experience during the post bellum period of the South. Lynchings are something he knows about and he took the threat communicated by the flyer very seriously. He began teaching his students about lynchings.

  Dr. Issa is also a vocal supporter of HBCUs and strongly favors maintaining HBCUs to provide the educational opportunity to young African Americans that might not otherwise be educated. This is a controversial subject nationwide and Dr. Issa's viewpoint isn't unique or without opposition.

  A state audit of Delaware State University raised other issues with management. A group of Dr. Issa's students decided to meet at the Dr. Martin Luther King student center and walk to the administration building to express their concerns. Dr. Issa joins them and provides a guest speaker for students who don't wish to participate in the field activity.

 The ACLU office in Wilmington Delaware is consulted for legal advice and Dr. Issa and his students are advised to exercise their rights. On March 1 Dr. Issa is arrested on four criminal charges including inciting a riot. The DSU spokesperson Carlos Holmes issues a statement that may appear to be printed as fact by the Dover Post.

  The ACLU weighs in publicly and initially supports Dr. Issa even finding a pro-bono attorney for the professor's criminal defense. 

The ACLU of Delaware has been representing Issa because DSU’s placing him on administrative leave and instructing him not to contact any DSU student or employee raise important issues under the First Amendment, ACLU Executive Director Kathleen MacRae said.

“At the time Dr. Issa was arrested students were gathering for the purpose of walking to the DSU Board of Trustees meeting to express their views on issues of importance to them,” she said. “DSU was not entitled to require a permit for that activity, any more than a town would have been under the circumstances.”

DSU spokesman Carlos Holmes declined to comment on this latest development.

From the first post on this blog:
  On May 12, 2012 Johnny Clark died at Silver Lake Park in Dover. A black man, the official Dover Police Department report indicated that he had committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree. For many reasons his family didn't buy the official story.

  There was no press release from the police, no local media coverage. Until very recently the only mention of Clark's death online was at

  That website post was challenged by WGMD News in the Morning host Bill Colley who subsequently interviewed Mr. Alston of Dover on air. Then the Antonio Prado of the Dover Post printed this report of a Dover Town Council meeting:

Then on September 21. 2012 Henry J. Fordham of Dover is assaulted at Silver Lake park by two men that Fordham claims confessed to killing Johnny Clark and Fordham further maintains that these two men were attempting to cut off his ear and penis and kill him. Police do not take the report seriously, limit their investigation to 'poking holes' in Fordham's story of how he came to be in the company of said two individuals.

  Despite having been fired from DSU and facing jail time for false charges Dr. Issa continues to investigate the death of Johnny Clark and begins investigating the attack on Fordham. At a candidates forum held at the Minority Outreach Center in Dover Delaware on October 6, 2012 I met Dr. Issa and expressed an interest into investigating what seemed to be specious claims.

  It was during this time that I learned of Dr. Issa's arrest and dismissal from DSU.

Attorneys from the Wilmington Delaware ACLU office receive subpoenas to appear at Dr. Issa's hearing, they manage to get the Judge to quash the subpoenas. This is outrageous. Bad enough they abandoned Dr. Issa after advising him to protest, now they can't even appear and testify? The case should be thrown out for that alone. Their testimony is key because it proves that Dr. Issa had no intent to be disorderly, he was intending to lawfully exercise his first amendment rights and had sought legal advice.

 This action and other issues prompt a letter to the Judge from Dr. Issa's attorney:

 On December 4, 2012 evidence was presented in a hearing on a pre-trial motion of defense to suppress the arrest and dismiss the charges. By this time the inciting charge has been dropped and DSU officials have now deviated from the narrative given by Carlos Holmes to the Dover Post.

Dr. Issa is the Dred Scott of our time. The system in Delaware is trying to discredit and even imprison him for something he never did. Video evidence is hard to argue, the Chief of Public Safety at DSU and a patrolman told the same false story. The odds of that being a good faith mistake are minute at best. 

  Dred Scott was denied justice not because of the merits of his case, but because the court determined that black people didn't have rights of other Americans. Are we really still doing this in 2012? Here is a motion to dismiss from Dr. Issa's defense attorney:

  Please consider a contribution to Dr. Issa's legal defense fund. The state hasn't even gotten through the pre-trial motions and Dr. Issa hasn't worked since March 1, 2012. They are trying to bleed him dry by dragging this out and he needs to keep a vigorous defense. This is the first amendment right of us all. If this man can be silenced any of us can. Paypal donations of any amount are appreciated at


Monday, December 10, 2012

Will there be a third story from DSU?

On March 1, 2012 Delaware University State University Associate Professor Dr. Jahi Issa was arrested at a student gathering at the Martin Luther King Student Center on the Dover campus of DSU. Dr. Issa's students wanted to meet at the King Center and walk together to the Administration Building to express their concerns at a public board of director's meeting.

   The ACLU of Delaware had been consulted by Dr. Issa and the students. After Dr. Issa's arrest the Executive Director of Delaware's ACLU said this:

ACLU Executive Director Kathleen MacRae said.

“At the time Dr. Issa was arrested students were gathering for the purpose of walking to the DSU Board of Trustees meeting to express their views on issues of importance to them,” she said. “DSU was not entitled to require a permit for that activity, any more than a town would have been under the circumstances.”
source link:

 Initially Campus spokesperson Carlos Holmes had stated as fact that Dr. Issa and his students ignored a lawful order to disperse, and Dr. Issa became verbally abusive, prompting the contact with campus public safety officer patrolman Buchwald and chief Downes.

 Perhaps the University was mindful of all the cell phones present at the event, because the story changed. Claiming Dr. Issa needed a permit wasn't going to wash so there couldn't have been a lawful order to disperse, in fact there was no such order. No problem, just change the story.

  By December 4, 2012 at a pre-trial motion hearing, that narrative had changed. Now the story was that Chief Downes had introduced him self to Dr. Issa and invited him to come to his office and discuss the situation. According to Chief Downes Dr. Issa said "Fuck You" and struck him in the chest with a forearm blow prompting patrolman Buchwald to arrest Dr. Issa.

  Dr. Issa is further charged with resisting arrest. Unfortunately for the University a brave student uploaded a YouTube video the day after the testimony December 5, 2012. This video shows what the one the University presented as evidence ( without proper discovery and over defense objections ) left out. The actual encounter. Chief Downes also testified that he had touched Dr. Issa on the shoulder in a calming manner which prompted the 'forearm blow' to the chest.

  Now the story is going to have to change again.

    This video clearly shows Chief Downes grabbing Dr. Issa's arm from behind. Dr. Issa can't see who has a hold of his arm. When Dr. Issa sees patrolman Buchwald he is shocked and cooperates immediately. Resisting? You mean when his blood pressure was high over 200 and he fell to the ground begging for EMS?

     The university subsequently fired Dr. Issa. Dr. Issa had been teaching his students about the historical significance of lynchings in the context of a racist flyer that was distributed in Dover along Division Street in late 2011.

  Dr. Issa was also a vocal defender of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, critical of the management of Delaware State University and what he believes is an 'ethnic cleansing' at DSU and other HBCUs' across the country. This isn't a new issue at DSU or elsewhere.

 One has to wonder why the state is so zealously trying to destroy Dr. Issa? From the video his students appreciated their professor being man handled none too much. 

  So the University has changed their story and both versions have problems. Isn't it time to drop these bogus charges and restore Dr. Issa to his job? The longer this goes on the more dirt will come out. You have to wonder what the University and prosecutors are thinking?

  I'm not even remotely wondering. Local media is avoiding this like the plague, ignoring it like they are ignoring Henry Fordham's story in last month's posts.

 Here's my question, should DSU get a third chance to cook up a story against Dr. Issa? A state school receiving public money? Or should they just stop being stupid?

Please consider a contribution towards Dr. Issa's defense fund @

Sunday, December 9, 2012

When Thugs Lie

Bloggers note: I had taken this post down on Sunday December 8, 2012 for a re-write. Not only is this the second version of why Dr. Issa was arrested from DSU officials  this version below is also refuted by a video. The person who shot the video has confirmed that this YouTube accurately reflects the unedited video from his cell phone that day. In addition, Chief Downs was evasive as to his current Council on Police Training certification. Chief may be in inactive status after leaving DSP . Chief Downes was subpoena'd to appear with his current COPT certification as was patrol man Buchwald. Buchwald immediately answered in the affirmative when questioned about his COPT certification presently and when Dr. Issa was arrested. Downes was arguably evasive and may not have been COPT certified on March 1, 2012 as an active law enforcement officer.

Back up by popular demand, as is.

March 1, 2012. DSU Professor Dr. Issa and his students decide to gather at the Martin Luther King Student Center to protest what they perceive as an attack on their Historically Black College/University. The plan is to rally at the student center and walk to the administration building to attend a public meeting of the board of trustees.

  A phone call is made to the Delaware ACLU, and Dr. Issa and his students receive advice indicating that they can lawfully exercise their first amendment rights.

   It is important to note that one of the stated purposes of the Martin Luther King Student Center is to provide a place for students to engage in organizational activities. A confrontation meeting is such an activity.

  Dr. Issa meets members of his class outside the student center. Other students join them.  A guest speaker is supplied for any students in Dr. Issa's class who don't wish to participate in the organizational activity. Trouble begins when one Franklin Meredith confronts Dr. Issa. Mr. Meredith is not a police officer or even a security guard. He's the 'event coordinator' meaning that he handles ticket master sales.

Note patrolman Buchwald is observing, Buchwald testified in court that he thought Mr. Meredith 'ran' the student center. He's mistaken. 

Dr. Issa obviously didn't take kindly to being challenged by the ticket master guy. Soon after this exchange, Campus Public Safety Chief Harry Downes arrives. Here's where the trouble starts.

  Chief Downes testified that he placed his right hand on Dr. Issa's shoulder in a calming manner, identified himself and invited Dr. Issa to his office to 'discuss the situation'. What situation? People exercising their right to peaceably assemble? At the place designated for students to gather and conduct organizational activities?

  Chief Downes then testified that Dr. Issa said "Fuck You" and struck him in the chest with a forearm blow. Patrolman Buchwald said it was an elbow strike. Both agreed that there was no probable cause to arrest Dr. Issa before THEY put their hands on him.

   So now Dr. Issa is under arrest for disorderly conduct, 'offensive touching' and while being walked out with one arm in a hammerlock and the other twisted by Chief Downes, Dr. Issa becomes dizzy and falls to the ground. Now he's charged with resisting arrest as well. Even though he requested medical assistance, and EMS determined that his blood pressure was over 200, he's resisting! The emergency room admits him to the hospital.  Got that?

 Now check the video of the arrest:

 The real issue? Dr. Issa had been speaking out against what he thought was the destruction of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. As well, when a racist flyer depicting a lynching came to the campus in February 2012, Dr. Issa began investigating the origins of the flyer and teaching about lynching. This did not set well with some professors and certain of the administration.

 After his arrest the ACLU made this statement to Antonio Prado of the Dover Post:

ACLU Executive Director Kathleen MacRae said.

“At the time Dr. Issa was arrested students were gathering for the purpose of walking to the DSU Board of Trustees meeting to express their views on issues of importance to them,” she said. “DSU was not entitled to require a permit for that activity, any more than a town would have been under the circumstances.”

  So Dr. Issa is now facing criminal charges for disorderly conduct, offensive touching, and resisting arrest. Let's examine this. First Disorderly Conduct:

  Delaware State Code defines disorderly conduct thusly -

A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when:
(1) The person intentionally causes public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to any other person, or creates a risk thereof by:
a. Engaging in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or
b. Making an unreasonable noise or an offensively coarse utterance, gesture or display, or addressing abusive language to any person present; or
c. Disturbing any lawful assembly or meeting of persons without lawful authority; or
d. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or
e. Congregating with other persons in a public place and refusing to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse; or
f. Creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition which serves no legitimate purpose; or
g. Congregating with other persons in a public place while wearing masks, hoods or other garments rendering their faces unrecognizable, for the purpose of and in a manner likely to imminently subject any person to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States of America.
(2) The person engages with at least 1 other person in a course of disorderly conduct as defined in paragraph (1) of this section which is likely to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, and refuses or knowingly fails to obey an order to disperse made by a peace officer to the participants.
Disorderly conduct is an unclassified misdemeanor.

 Who engaged in fighting or in violent tumultuous or threatening behavior?  According to the video it's Chief Downs. There was no order to disperse, Chief was in plainclothes and clearly approached Dr. Issa from behind and grabbed his arm. There's your offensive touching, by Chief Downes! You can clearly see that when Dr. Issa realizes that Patrolman Buchwald has grabbed his arm he cooperates. Until he falls down and requires medical attention.

Delaware State University Public Safety Chief Harry Downes
When he worked for the Delaware State Police.

 So why is Dr. Issa fired from his job and facing jail time, embroiled in the most drawn out disorderly conduct trial I've ever heard of? Because thugs lie.

 This is an affront to the first amendment rights of all Americans. Whether or not you agree with Dr. Issa's world view we can all agree that the right to assemble and speak freely is sacrosanct.

 In fact in 2010 the equestrian team protested by riding horses in front of the administration building. The all white equestrian team. No permit for the demonstration was sought, and the administration building definitely doesn't have horseback riding center as one of it's stated purposes. But they weren't black students protesting what they saw as an attack on their Historically Black College or University. So that demonstration was okey-dokey.

 When do we lose our civil rights? When thugs lie and we don't call them on it. I call BULLSHIT on Chief Downes. Either that video of the arrest is a fake or he is. My money is on the video and I'll be the first to admit it if proven wrong. Because I get angry when thugs lie.

Dr. Issa remains steadfast in his desire to fight this bogus case, get restored to his job as a professor, and investigate the hanging of black men in Dover from trees. He needs help, please consider a donation of any amount to his legal defense fund. The trial just began on December 4, is now in recess with no continuation date.

  So much for a speedy trial. Meanwhile, we have two people who assaulted Henry J. Fordham with a shank running around loose because that's not a crime the police feel like pursuing. But the system is trying to prosecute the hell out of Dr. Issa. When thugs lie.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Exercising First Amendment Rights while Black...

Dr. Issa and three of his children

Dr. Jahi Issa was a professor at Delaware State University in the History Department. His phd. is in U.S. History focusing on the South. When the racist leaflet distributed in Dover reached him at Delaware State University in February 2012, Dr. Issa began teaching about lynching and speaking out against the flyers.

  In March his students decided to protest. Some students were upset about the flyers and they were concerned with Delaware State University, a Historically Black College/University, dismissing black faculty and replacing them with white faculty.  Leaders from the Wilmington Delaware office of the ACLU advised Dr. Issa and a group of students to exercise their first amendment rights. Then the ACLU called the college and alerted campus officials that a protest was impending.

  Dr. Issa was arrested at the protest, resulting in a separated shoulder and him being hospitalized with his blood pressure over 200.

 Then the ACLU abandoned him. Dr. Issa is facing criminal charges that are completely groundless.

 Of course the ACLU director and attorney that advised Dr. Issa and his students to exercise their first amendment rights were subpoenaed to his criminal trial. Unbelievably, the ACLU attorneys sought to have their subpoenas quashed and were successful.

  This is beyond the pale. Their testimony and documentation is central to Dr. Issa's defense. It proves that his intention was to exercise his first amendment rights and that he was in a frame of mind to seek legal advice and act lawfully. This is important because he is charged with disorderly conduct.

  It would appear that our ACLU has become politically compromised. Like the NAACP, the Dover Human Relations Commission, and too many other entities to count.

  Even though he has been criminally charged, fired from his job and is struggling to support his family, Dr. Issa continues to investigate the death of Johnny Clark, the death of Charles Conley, and the attack on Henry Fordham.

  Whether Dr. Issa's agenda is aligned with your values or not, we should all be able to agree that our first amendment rights, and our right to peaceably assemble should be sacrosanct.

  On Tuesday December 4, 2012 at the Kent County Courthouse in Courtroom six a hearing on a pre-trial motion to suppress the arrest of Dr. Issa by Dover Police was begun. The state prosecutor introduced a document into evidence that had not been through discovery, defense objected, judge Welch allowed it.

  The University attorney who was a witness actually crossed the bar in open court to pass notes to the prosecutors, apparently coaching them. Defense objected, the judge allowed it. Under oath the Campus Police Chief and Patrolman Buchwald admitted that they had no probable cause to arrest Dr. Issa until they put their hands on him. The case should have been dismissed.

  Only two witnesses on a pre-trial motion were 'processed'. There is a courtroom full of witnesses and the judge couldn't even give a date when the trial would convene again. All of this time and effort for trumped up misdemeanors to cover the college's collective ass for violating the civil rights of one Dr. Jahi Issa.

  How is this related to Delaware's Strange Fruits? Dr. Issa learned of the racist flyer in February of 2012. His students did not understand the historical implications so he began to teach about lynchings. He continued to speak out against DSU becoming a white institution. This incurred the ire of the administration.

  Perhaps the straw that 'broke the camel's back' was Dr. Issa's discussion of irregularities in a recent audit of the University by the State Auditor.

  Dr. Issa continues to investigate the deaths of two black men who died in Dover Delaware, hanging from trees by their own belts and also the assault on Henry J. Fordham. You have to wonder if the state would be so zealous in trying to pin these bogus charges on him were that not the case.

  This was not Dr. Issa's first protest on campus. In 2010 members of the equestrian team enlisted Dr. Issa in organizing and conducting a protest on campus to include horses and riders in areas where people walk between buildings. No permit for that protest was every sought, there are no records of the protest at DSU.

   However, white students and a white equestrian team riding horses around pedestrian areas apparently don't cause any concern. Black students and a black professor peaceably assembled at the Dr. Martin Luther King Student Center apparently require armed intervention in the persona of campus police.

   To be present in that courtroom was to witness corruption of the prosecutors, reversible errors a'plenty on the part of the judge, and the overall horrid state of affairs regarding race relations in Delaware. This is the state that the civil rights movement largely missed.

  Today it's just a professor with an afro-centric world view being leaned on for speaking his conscience. Who cares, right?

    It's not just an academic with an axe to grind. It's all of us. It's me for the number of times I placed my large butt on the line to uphold my oath of office. It's my ancestors who have always served, going back to Jon Nicolson in the revolutionary war. We didn't risk it all so that 'elites' could play these kinds of games with the most important right we have. The right to freedom of speech.

 How can the state pursue with such zeal a trumped up bogus disorderly person charge while ignoring the assault on Henry J. Fordham? Racism is the only answer that readily presents. Our Attorney General, Beau Biden could set this right quickly if he were so inclined. Apparently doing the right thing isn't a priority for the son or our Vice President. May God have mercy on us all.

Please join me in contributing to Dr. Issa's legal defense fund. This may be the most expensive defense of such trivial charges in U.S. History, but it has to be done. If Dr. Issa can be deprived of his rights, with his education and intelligence then who is safe?

  Dr. Issa's legal defense fund appreciates any donations from anyone concerned with our First Amendment rights. Dr. Issa has been offered a plea deal with will result in no criminal record, but he can't confess to a crime he did not commit. He's willing to go to jail if need be to defend our First Amendment rights. Are you willing to help him? If you don't stand up now will there be anybody left to stand up for you?

 Please contribute whatever you can:

 Consider calling President Williams of Delaware State University urging the school to drop charges and restore Dr. Issa to his chosen profession of teaching our young people. Reach President Williams at (302) 857- 6001.

 You may wish to call Delaware's Attorney General urging him to drop all charges against Dr. Issa. Joseph R. "Beau" Biden III's office can be reached at (302) 577-8500.

UPDATE: Chief Downs testified that he identified himself, touched Dr. Issa's shoulder in a 'calming fashion' and that Dr. Issa said "fuck you" and hit him in the chest with a forearm blow. Then I saw this video. I say Chief Downs is mistaken at a minimum. You tell me.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Poking holes in stories.

  In October of 2012, Myself and two other activists petitioned the City Council of Dover Delaware to conduct an independent investigation into three events:

 The suicide of Johnny Clark, found hanging from a tree by his own belt in Silver Lake park on May 12 2012.

The assault of one Henry J. Fordham at Silver Lake Park on September 21 2012, allegedly by two European American males who confessed to killing Johnny Clark and who did vacate their apartment in Mr. Fordham's neighborhood the same day Fordham was assaulted.

A racist leaflet campaign in Downton Dover Delaware in December 2011.


This is a scanned image of a flyer that was found along Division Street, New Street, and Governor's Avenue in downtown Dover Delaware. The flyer also found it's way to Delaware State University where students marched and at least one arrest was made.

 Antonio Prado, reporter for the Dover Post filed this story on October 22, 2012.

  The hardest part of this story for me to believe was the report of Henry J. Fordham being assaulted and the police refusing to take a complaint or investigate. There is also a report of the Attorney General's office refusing to take a complaint of a hate crime.

  The police chief of Dover stated on WBOC news that Fordham changed his story more than once and that Mr. Fordham was well known to the police as a person involved with illegal narcotics. Apparently this is adequate reason to dismiss an criminal assault, quite possibly with a weapon.

According to Police, Fordham first said that he was abducted in a home invasion and police confirmed that no such event had taken place. According to Police Mr. Fordham next said that he was walking his dog and was abducted at gun point. Police 'poked holes' in that story when they learned that Mr. Fordham did not own a dog. Fair enough.

  Still, if nothing happened to Mr. Fordham why did the Dover Police Department contact Henry J. Fordham at Silver Lake Park in Dover at approximately 0600 hours on September 21 2012?

 Antonio Prado interviewed Dover Police Chief Holsted and then printed this:

 "City police also investigated the September incident alleged by Fordham, Hosfelt said. Police first contacted Fordham at 6 a.m. Sept. 21 because a resident reported he was in her backyard acting irrational."

Hosfelt admitted that Dover Police did not pursue the assault of Henry Fordham because they 'poked holes' in his story and on television (WBOC) Hosfelt stated that Fordham was known to Dover P.D. and involved with illegal narcotics. All of which is irrelevant.

   However, we now have a police story full of holes. Fordham's account of what led to the 911 call is at odds with the statement of Hosfelt to Dover Post. So on November 4 I tracked down the address the call originated from and interviewed a member of the household.

  Yelling, screaming, and sounds of a fight woke the caller and her husband. It was bad enough that she got out of bed and turned on her outside floodlight. That's when she saw Fordham in her yard falling to the ground and yelling for help. He was obviously injured. That's a far cry from "acting irrational(sic)".

Fordham 911 call recording confirms police chief Hosfelt is not telling the whole truth.

  If the police can disregard the account of Mr. Fordham because they 'poked holes' in his story, should not the public disregard the findings and pronouncements of Dover P.D. now that we have 'poked holes' in their story? 

 Either the Dover P.D. or the Attorney General need to get behind this yesterday. Either we have killers running loose or people fabricating a socially destabilizing narrative. A narrative taken as truth in the community where Johnny Clark and Henry Fordham lived.



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Modus Operandi and the man we didn't know

 Modus Operandi means roughly mode of operation.  In Investigative circles it's a pattern that can be spotted. Holdup man with white high top sneakers and small revolver, for a quick example. How something was done. Four cars stolen by taking out passenger window with a brick for instance.

  After a local newspaper covered the story of three activists petitioning city council for independent investigations into a death ruled suicide and a reported attack on a local man, something happened. A phone call was made to Dr. Jahi Issa by a person or persons who knew a young man named Charles Conley.

   His death in October 2010 was also determined to be a suicide. Black man, hanging in a tree, in public, in Dover, not far from where Johnny Clark would die two years hence . Hanging from his own belt just like Clark. Ruled officially to be a suicide just like Johnny Clark.

    In October of 2010 and May of 2012 a black man died hanging from  a tree by his own belt. In the case of Mr. Johnny Clark, local barber on May 12 2012 it was apparently the belt he was wearing. Charles Conley' mother has stated that in October 2010 Charles hung from two of his own belts tied together. Do not know if he ever wore two belts.

  It it possible that two men hang themselves from trees in public in such a small place? Dover Delaware is a small city with less than 40,000 residents. Only 38% of that number are African American. Then you have the general tendency of folks to kill themselves in an isolated place. Remember that Non Hispanic Black males are less likely to commit suicide than Europeans and Asians.

  Then we are left with the modus operandi. Both deaths occurred with the victim's own belt. It could be speculated that Henry J. Fordham would have heard something about Johnny Clark's means of demise and incorporated it into his own narrative. Even so, this ligature mark on Henry's neck may be consistent with his statement. Namely that these two European American men tried to strangle him with his own belt.

  Said attempted strangulation occurring at the same park where Johnny Clark died.

  At the end of the day, we have two men with nothing in common except skin tone hanging from trees in Dover Delaware by their own belts within a small geographic area near Silver Lake, and another man with a mark on his neck from what he claims is an attempt at strangling him by two men. Two men who according to more than one source confessed to killing Johnny Clark, one of the suicide victims.

   For your ease of review, videos taken by War on the Horizon are posted here. Whether or not you agree with agenda of WOH, I admire them for getting out into the field with their crew and capturing these interviews to video.

Last but not least, here is a google earth screen capture showing the relatively small area where these events occurred The area where Charles Conley was found is lower right, Silver lake park where Johnny Clark was found and Henry Fordham was assaulted are upper left. There is a football field at the college for scale. Looks like less than quarter mile distance walking. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What happened to Henry Fordham?

  My first post on this blog was an attempt to tie together the information that has pretty much taken over my life. On October 6, 2012 at a political meet and greet in Dover Delaware six candidates including myself were put on the spot.  Nobody was interested in hearing about why they should vote for us. A group of people were upset over what the city was calling a suicide and an attack on another man that was being swept under the rug.

  The death ruled a suicide befell Johnny Clark of Dover on May 12, 2012 in Silver lake Park in Dover Delaware. The man who was assaulted in the same section of Silver Lake Park on September 21, 2012 is Henry J. Fordham who also was residing in Dover in the same neighborhood as Johnny Clark.

 On October 17, 2010 a star athlete from Edison New Jersey and a Freshman at Wesley College was reported hanging from a tree in an alley off of the 200 Block of North Governor's Avenue in Dover. Allegedly hanging from his own belt, same as Johnny Clark. The only thing the two victims had in common is skin tone and the manner and proximity of their public deaths, both ruled suicides.

  In December 2011 there was a racist leaflet distributed in Dover Delaware. The leaflet depicted a lynching, a swastika and contained racist language implying that the streets should be cleaned one African American at a time.

  Checkmate. For some reason I couldn't turn the group down when they asked for assistance in early October. I would do my best to get to the truth of the contested demise and get justice for the man who was assaulted.

  At first the only mention of the death of Johnny Clark and the assault on Henry Fordham could only be found here:

WGMD News in the morning anchor Bill Colley first read the above post on air and called the claims specious. Local paralegal and community activist Eshed Alston called in to the show and shared his observations from his contact with the assault victim whose complaint was refused by police.

 I had a hard time believing the claims. I asked if there was any proof of the assault victim's claims.  A wound, ostensibly from a dull knife is telling.

  With the police and reportedly also the attorney general refusing to act on the assault the victim spoke to a film crew associated with an arguably radical website.

   The mutilation near his ear and report of the attackers trying to cut off his ear and penis is a troubling set of circumstances and allegations. This man may or may not have known that his report is consistent with patterns of behavior seen in lynchings of black men going back well over a century.

  Mr. Fordham identified his attackers and their address and vehicle are also kown, along with their first names.

 Officially, Dover Police maintain that there is no probable cause to investigate an assault on Mr. Fordham because they 'poked holes in his story' (concerning how he came to be in contact with his attackers) and he is 'known to them'.

 Here's the thing. Fordham claims that his attackers confessed to killing Johnny Clark. Clark's death by hanging from a tree by his belt in the very same public park was ruled a suicide. Johnny Clark's brother reported that the last people he saw his brother with on May 11, 2012 were the same two white males named by Mr. Fordham as his attackers.

 Johnny Clarks brother testifies to the Dover Human Relations Commission:

  The problem inherent in the current situation is easy to spot. Dover Police and City Counsel are standing firm on ruling Johnny Clark's death by hanging a suicide and are refusing to investigate the assault into Henry Fordham.

  If Mr. Fordham and Johnny Clark's brother are correct, there are two murderers on the loose having committed heinous crimes. If the two are fabricating the story then that's also a very serious matter because of the potential for social destabilization.

 Either way we need to know and the key to understanding is the assault on Fordham. Fordham identified two individuals by first name, race and gender, vehicle, and address. Said individuals confirmed to exist at said address by neighbors. These two white males also reportedly vacated their residence the same day that somebody stuck a knife in Henry's head.

   Unconfirmed but wide ranging reports from the street indicate that these two white males were involved with dangerous drugs, possibly to include some form of PCP. That alone should warrant police attention.

 When will Dover P.D., City Counsel, or the Attorney General step in here?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Is the first state dead last in civil rights?

  Two men, nearly two years apart in death. They died the same way, hanging from trees in Dover Delaware in a time and manner which convinced local P.D. investigators and officials that both deaths were suicide. Two black men. That's all they had in common except for the way they died, how they were found, where they died.

  Between the death of the first and second man, a racist leaflet was distributed in Dover along Division street downtown. The flyer contained vulgar racist language and the image of a black man hanging from a tree by his neck as well as a swastika.

  One a street wise barber . One a star athlete 19 years old. From Edison New Jersey and a freshman at Wesley College. The only thing besides their manner of passing they had in common was skin tone.

 On October 17 2010 in an alley in Dover a  black man was seen hanging from a tree by a passing motorist.

This is what made it to the Newspaper:

"But to the shock and sadness of many in New Jersey and Delaware, Conley, who recently turned 19, died suddenly on the morning of Oct. 17. His death was ruled a suicide, according to Carl Kanefsky, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. According to Dover police, Conley’s body was found by a passerby in an alleyway near campus around 7:30 a.m."

 "... died suddenly ...." ?  There's a Win The Future type of moment there.

The Police Press Release:

Student Commits Suicide
Complaint Number: 50-10-26769
Date of Incident: 10/17/10
This News Release was entered 10/20/10 by Captain, Tim Stump 
Location of Incident:
200 Block N. Governors Ave

On Sunday 10/17/10 at approximately 0730 the Dover Police Department responded to a report from a motorist driving in the alleyway, east of N. Governors Ave, that a subject was hanging from a tree. Detectives identified the victim as a 19 year old Wesley College student from New Jersey. There is no foul play involved and detectives found information from the victim detailing his intent to harm himself. 

This is one account from the Campus paper on the tragedy.

  Friends and family have expressed doubt over the finding of suicide.

  On May 12, 2012 Johnny Clark died at Silver Lake Park in Dover. A black man, the official Dover Police Department report indicated that he had committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree. For many reasons his family didn't buy the official story.

  There was no press release from the police, no local media coverage. Until very recently the only mention of Clark's death online was at

  That website post was challenged by WGMD News in the Morning host Bill Colley who subsequently interviewed Mr. Alston of Dover on air. Then the Antonio Prado of the Dover Post printed this report of a Dover Town Council meeting:

    • ###
      Former Delaware State University professor Dr. Jahi Issa and Dover resident EShed Alston continued their push for investigations into lynchings in Dover in the 21st Century during Monday night's Dover City Council meeting. Joining them in their cause was local political candidate Doug Beatty, an Independent.
  • Dover resident EShed Alston, former Delaware State University professor Dr. Jahi Issa and state House of Representatives District 34 Independent candidate Doug Beatty also demanded that the city continue to investigate the vulgar leaflet that depicted a racial slur that was circulated within the city beginning late in 2011.
    "This flyer says, 'Cleaning up the streets of Dover one nigger at a time,'" Alston said, holding up the leaflet before council during its Monday night meeting. "And it contains an image of a black person hanging from a tree [next to a Nazi symbol]."
    Alston said he suspected the city had conducted a "cover up" of what he described as the lynching of Johnny Clark, who was black, in Silver Lake Park, on May 12.
    "According to the official city line, he committed suicide," Alston said. "Since then and subsequent to that, we had another individual who was treated in the same way at the same location. This is not an individual circumstance involving Mr. Clark."
    After public comment, Alston presented the Dover Post with an affidavit in which Henry Fordham, a black man, alleged that "two crazy white boys" attempted to lynch him in Silver Lake Park on Sept. 21.
    "What I'm demanding here is an investigation because our kids mean something to us, gentlemen and ladies," he said. "If this was a situation where this was a Caucasian who had been tortured or killed by black domestic terrorists, then something would be done in the city of Dover."
    In response, Dover Police Chief James Hosfelt said after City Council's meeting Monday night that investigations concluded that Clark's death was in fact a suicide while Fordham's allegation that he suffered an attempted lynching was found to be unsubstantiated. He called the persistent belief that a lynching and an attempted lynching had occurred "unfortunate."
    Back during public comment, Issa said he had written extensively on the sensitive subject of lynching. His doctorate in American history focused on the South, which officially includes the state of Delaware according to America's geographic divisions.
    "This flyer that Mr. Alston showed you started circulating at the end of last year," said Issa, who was fired from DSU after leading a student protest. "I first got a hold of it in February. I started investigating it as a member of the NAACP to see if there was any validity to it.
    • "I don't know if the city really understands the seriousness of this. But, as an African American intellectual who has a Ph.D. in history, I know what that means," Issa said. "Lynchings are political. They're more than just a murder. And they have a long history of white supremacist behavior. I never thought I would in my lifetime be an advocate against this, which intellectuals like W.E.B. DuBois [fought] a hundred years ago. Here we are again."
      Issa was arrested during a student protest March 1, 2011 for what DSU officials said was disorderly conduct. He was subsequently fired in August.
      Beatty, of Magnolia, said he first learned of the alleged lynching in May, the abduction in September and the racist leaflet during a Dover Post candidates forum held Oct. 9. That is when Alston asked Beatty, and Republican incumbent State Rep. Donald Blakey for the 34th District and Democratic challenger Ted Yacucci if they were aware of the alleged lynching and attempted lynching. None of them had heard and were perplexed by Alston's question in the 21st Century.
      "I've spoken to the second victim on the phone, I've interviewed fourteen people on the street and I've talked to some of our legislators," Beatty said. "One of the state senators said this was all B.S. and somebody was trying to start a race riot. If that's true, I want to know who."
      Beatty added that members of Clark's family and other community members did not believe that Clark committed suicide.
      Hosfelt said Dover Police conducted a thorough investigation into the death of Clark as well as a review of that investigation and concluded that his death was in fact a suicide.
      "It's an unfortunate thing," he said.
      City police also investigated the September incident alleged by Fordham, Hosfelt said. Police first contacted Fordham at 6 a.m. Sept. 21 because a resident reported he was in her backyard acting irrational.
      Fordham's initial report was that he was kidnapped from the halfway house he lives in on North New Street, Hosfelt said. He said two white men forced entry into his house at 15 N. New Street and removed him at gunpoint and drove him down to Silver Lake to try to drown him.
      "When we got there, his clothes were dry and the [New Street] homeowner rebutted claims about anyone invading her home," Hosfelt said. 'Then, he changed his story to he was walking his dog when two white men drove up in a pickup truck and [forcibly took] him."

      • Police poked holes in that story when the New Street homeowner said Fordham did not own a dog, Hosfelt said.
        Police then transported Fordham to Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital for treatment, but he became argumentative with staff and fled before he could be treated, Hosfelt said.
        As for the racist flyer, police had no leads, Hosfelt said. Anyone with information was urged to contact police.
        Mayor Carleton E. Carey Sr. said he had the utmost confidence in Dover Police's investigations. And the racist flyers would not be tolerated, he added.
        "We take this stuff very seriously," he said. "We want Dover to be a good place for our citizens to live."


          Perhaps worth noting that Mr. Alston had requested in writing through channels the opportunity to speak on the agenda for the City Council meeting. The Council seemed to do everything possible to keep our statements off the official record. Kudos to Mr. Prado for printing the article.

         Jump to September 21 2012. At approximately 6:00 a.m. Dover Police Responded to a residence near the same area of Silver Lake park where Clark died in response to the resident's call concerning a man in her yard. Dover P.D. Chief reports that the resident reported a man acting irrationally.

         Henry J. Fordham had visible injuries that warranted transporting him to Kent General Hospital. He claimed to have been abducted by two white males who attempted to lynch him. Police dismissed his story after he reportedly gave two demonstrably false accounts concerning how he came to be in the custody of his alleged abductors.

        This picture of Fordham taken on September 21 in the daytime. Mr. Fordham reports that this injury ensued from a knife attack by his assailants in the early morning of 21Sept2012. 
        Photo by Dr. Jahi Issa.

        According to Dr. Issa and local paralegal Eshed Alston this wound is a cut from the outside of Fordham's mouth that goes through to the inside of his mouth.
        Photo by Dr. Jahi Issa.

        Mr. Fordham maintains that this mark was caused by his assailants trying to strangle him. 
        Photo by Dr. Jahi Issa. 

        All photos taken on 21 September 2012

          On September 27 2012 there was a meeting of the Dover Delaware Human Relations Commission. Henry Fordham, Wanda Clark, and Donald Clark spoke to the commission about what they felt was a murder and an attempted murder.

           A family member testified that he had last seen his brother Johnny alive with the same two white males that allegedly abducted and assaulted Fordham. These individuals lived in the neighborhood where Clark and Fordham resided. The family member said he had been in a program with one of the white males.

        Video taken at Dover Human Relations Commission Meeting on 27Sep2012

          These two suicides defy suicide statistics in a town of less than 40,000 which is only 38% African American  within the very small geographical area where these deaths occured. That's quite a coincidence to put it mildly.

         Please don't take this blogger's word for that, check suicide statistics for yourself. Non Hispanic black males are generally less likely than whites and Asians to commit suicide. Firearms are the most prevalent method of suicide for this demographic and location. Hanging from a tree in public view in two cases within blocks of each other and occurring in the context of a leaflet campaign between the first and most recent death makes the cases even more suspect.

         Factor in friends and family of both victims still in disbelief that their loved ones took their own lives.

            That alone should warrant a full review in view of the statistical improbability of two such suicides occurring in the manner suggested in a sick leaflet distributed to neighborhoods along Division St. in Dover after the first death and before the second.

          The mayor having full confidence in the police department's actions should welcome an independent review of both cases to vindicate the Dover P.D.. If this is not the case the issue won't be resolved within the City.
        Perhaps a committee should be named by the City Council to release as much information as possible to the public while conducting an impartial factual review of both cases.

        UPDATE: Henry Fordham and a resident of the house where the 911 call originated both refute the official line that a resident reported "a man acting irrational(sic)" in her yard. According to Mr. Ford and the resident, sounds of an altercation, yelling and screaming awoke the resident who turned on a floodlight. Both parties agree that Mr. Fordham fell to the ground yelling for help. Not at all irrational considering his injuries.

          Regardless of Mr. Fordham reportedly being evasive as to how he came to be in the company of his assailants, or his criminal record it would appear that there is probable cause to investigate an assault of Mr. Fordham. There is no case number, no complaint has been taken, and Chief Holsted when asked told me there was no probable cause to investigate an attack on Mr. Fordham.

          Probable cause must mean something else in Delaware. In general probable cause is observable facts or circumstances that would convince a reasonable and prudent person that an crime has been committed and in fact committed by a specific person or persons.

         Fordham identified two men who lived in his neighborhood, two men who haven't been seen by neighbors since the day Fordham came into contact with Dover P.D. at approximately 0600 hours on 21Sep2012.
        Something ain't right.

        Original portions copyright 2012 Doug Beatty.