Memphis Mayor Herenton Resigns; USDOJ Response to Neals Is Due
MEMPHIS MAYOR WILLIE HERENTON announced today that he is resigning effective July 11. The Neal family wonders if Mayor Herenton's resignation has anything to do with the secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal in Shelby County Jail. The lifelong mentally ill heart patient "disappeared" in mid-July 2003 and his family and social worker searched for him for nearly three weeks while police did nothing to help, but law enforcement denied repeatedly that Larry was incarcerated. On August 1, 2003, 18 days later, Memphis police announced that Larry Neal was dead and that he had actually been arrested the entire period.
Larry spent 20 years as an inpatient in Western State Mental Hospital until many such facilities were downsized or closed during the 1970's. Since that time, Larry was arrested numerous times in Shelby County Jail for misdemeanors related to his schizophrenia, like disturbing the peace. There was no doubt in the minds of Larry's family that his secret detainment was intentional. One county employee had told a close relative of Larry's weeks before his "disappearance" that "people were getting sick of Larry."
Thanks to The (Johnnie) Cochran Firm contracting to represent Larry's survivors, Shelby County Jail was spared from public disclosure that the jail hid this lifelong mental patient from his social worker and family for weeks without his prescription psychiatric and heart drugs until Larry died of a heart attack. The Cochran Firm only pretended to work on Larry Neal's wrongful death case while the law firm actually protected Shelby County Jail by doing no work on the case.
After defrauding the Neals, the family's assigned Cochran Firm attorney, David McLaughlin, was selected as a 2006 Mid-South Super Lawyer. Only 5% of the lawyers in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi are selected for this honor. Super Lawyers are chosen by their peers and through the independent research of Law & Politics. He is listed in a special December 2006 issue of Mid-South Super Lawyers Magazine, Memphis magazine, and on www.superlawyers.com. See more about McLaughlin at this link: http://www.cochranfirm.com/attorneys/dmclaughlin.html
Cochran Firm Managing Partner Julian Bolton was promoted to Treasurer of the Shelby County Commission and then to Chairman. Bolton was apparently so certain there would be no media disclosure or any other repercussions from his firm’s fraud against the Neals that he even ran for Congress in 2006.
It is a fact that mainstream media blocked out all news about the secret death of Larry Neal and The Cochran Firm's role as the Neal's fake lawyers. Larry's family does not know whether mainstream media ignored news of The Cochran Firm's Atlanta office presenting in Georgia Superior Court that it did not exist under the identity used prolifically in advertising because media wanted to protect the Cochran Firm, government, or the media's adverstising revenue from carrying ads for the firm's 26 offices across America.
The Cochran Firm and mainstream media may not have been aware of the import of citizens journalism. Thanks to independent online news companies like NowPublic.com, Care2 News Network, IndyMedia, OpEdNews, and Internet social networks, at least 100,000 people know about these events, despite constant interferrence by cyberstalkers. Hopefully, each one will tell one. Many of this writer's NowPublic articles are re-published on websites belonging to individuals the Neals never met. Google "Cochran Firm Fraud."
On May 7, this writer, sister of Larry Neal, sent a Freedom of Information Request to the USDOJ, which was in overview of Shelby County Jail at the time of Larry's suffering and death in that facility. A response to that Request is due this week.
The Memphis Flyer carried news of Herenton's resignation today, an excerpt of which is below.
Herenton Resigns, Effective July 11th
Jun 25, 2009 at 1:03 PM
Mayor Willie Herenton said Thursday he is resigning as mayor after more than 17 years in office.
At a press conference in the Hall of Mayors in City Hall, Herenton, 69, confirmed what he said himself has been clear for a long time.
I lost my zeal," he said. "I'm the kind of guy, I got to climb mountains. This was getting routine."
Herenton framed his legacy as a child of wedlock, born in the public housing projects, who became school superintendent and, in 1991, the first elected black mayor of Memphis. He made it clear that his legacy will be the foundation of his campaign for the 9th Congressional District seat in 2010 in a race against incumbent congressman Steve Cohen.
In the meantime, he will join his son Rodney in business working with the private sector and government entities. He said he rejected pleas to remain as mayor while he campaigns for Congress because he feels that is wrong. He made only a brief reference to the ongoing federal investigation of his real estate dealings, calling himself "a victim" and saying reporters are obsessed with the story.
This writer responded to the news report thusly:
More Shelby County Government officials need to resign. America is not Guantanamo. They should not have secretly arrested Larry Neal, a 54-year-old mentally ill heart patient who had been arrested in Shelby Co. Jail numerous times, then lied and pretended not to have him incarcerated for 18 days until he died without his vital heart and psychiatric meds on Aug. 1, 2003.
It is time to answer questions now about his murder, and maybe some more folks need to resign. Equal justice and open disclosure, remember?
FOI Request to USDOJ re: Larry Neal and The Cochran Firm Fraud
If Shelby Co. Jail did more to kill Larry than hide him from his social worker and family while he died without his psychiatric and heart drugs, his family does not know. Like the Guantanamo detainees, Larry's family has been denied any excuse, explanation, full autopsy report, arrest records, and DENIED any investigation for almost six years.
Former County Commissioner Julian Bolton was managing partner of The Cochran Firm in Memphis, but Larry's mother and sister were not told that the law firm had that conflict of interest when the firm contracted to be our wrongful death attorneys on Aug. 8, the day following Larry Neal's funeral. The Cochran Firm proceeded to keep Larry's wrongful death case INACTIVE for the next 10.5 mo., until it was too late to find an honest attorney with no clandestine relationship with the jail. The County Commission owns and operates Shelby Co. Jail.
We sued The Cochran Firm twice for defrauding Larry's family to protect Shelby County Jail, but they managed to keep it out of mainstream news - planning what for the plaintiffs?
Google online for The Cochran Firm Fraud Videos 1 and 2 on YouTube.
The USDOJ and Larry's survivors communicated about his death after we discovered The Cochran Firm had done ZERO to represent our lawsuit against Shelby Co. Jail. But when Shelby Co. Jail applied for Release from federal overview regarding its Agreement reached in USA v. Shelby Co. Jail, the feds apparently allowed Shelby Co. officials to enter perjury into federal court by omitting Larry Neal's secret arrest and death. The Bush Admin. USDOJ did not protect prisoners' rights, as the world knows now.
The USDOJ reported that it never got ANY reports from Shelby Co. Jail about Larry, despite the fact that the jail was mandated to issue periodic reports to the feds under the terms of its lawsuit and inform the USDOJ about any inmate injuries or deaths. That means that any reports that Shelby Co. issued for Aug. and Sept. 2003 that omitted Larry Neal's secret Guantanamo-style arrest and death were FRAUDULENT.
Larry's survivors have sued The Cochran Firm twice for its fraud [since the firm substituted itself for the Neals' intended defendants]. But like Guantanamo, there is a cloak of secrecy around his death that is protected by higher-ups in responsible government postiions. We served the 1st lawsuit to The Cochran Firm's Atlanta office. It had no excuse for the firm writing Larry's mother and sister about work being done on their case while the law firm actually did nothing, so the firm simply denied it even existed in Georgia! The judge agreed and dismissed the Neal's lawsuit. Look online for the Atlanta office of The Cochran Firm.
Since they "did not exist in GA," Larry's family sued The Cochran Firm in USDC under the DIVERSITY RULE. Judge Tim Batten ruled that everything that law firm had done to protect Shelby Co. Jail from the Neals' lawsuit was "immaterial."
It may look like the higher-ups have it all covered-up. I have been chased, accosted at neighborhood stores, threatened online and in person. But after Duanna Johnson was executed, my 86-yr-old mom and I decided to stay home until Larry's death is fully resolved. [Duanna Johnson was the transgender woman who planned to sue Shelby County Jail after her brutal beating in its booking area was broadcast all over the world. She was murdered on Nov. 9, 2008, a few weeks after the folks who came after Mary Neal did not get her at the Chevron station in Georgia.] We live like Ann Frank in WWII Germany. Meanwhile, time is ticking down. The USDOJ must answer our FIOA Request on Shelby County Jail very soon, if it keeps to the timetable that President Obama mandated for responses. We will see what happens.
DON'T KILL MENTAL PATIENTS BECAUSE YOU ARE SICK OF THEM, POLICE.
What happened to Larry and his family's subsequent denial of due process of law and stalking events indicate that although Larry was a parinoid schizophrenic from early childhood, he was not nearly as sick as America's justice system and some of the people who work therein as police officers, lawyers, judges, and government officials. Larry never would have done what these people apparently did. Despite all of Larry's irrational thoughts and behavior, he was no sociopath.
This writer spends up to 20 hours some days at her computer to ensure that having "arrangements" with State Bars, judges, and/or government officials will not mean that Larry Neal's death goes without due process of law unless the United States Government is ready to add a disclaimer to its Pledge of Allegiance clarifying that the "all" at the end of the pledge excludes mental patients and their families, especially if they are black.
Although it is a tough sell in this age of prison profiteering, she works through her online organization, Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill, to try and get DOG JUSTICE for all of America's incarcerated mentally ill and engender support for their humane containment and treatment in mental hospitals or in Assisted Outpatient Treatment programs, depending on their offenses. She has been joined in her efforts to decriminalize mental illness by 200 persons who care about the least of these, His brethren, and agree that psychiatric patients in America have endured enough homelessness, imprisonment, and death due to a common, treatable health condition.
Just as Dorothea Dix delivered the mentally ill from cruel imprisonment in the 1800's, members of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill work to deliver the mentally ill from death by Taser or lethal force during lunacy arrests, being arrested for crimes when they had little or no understanding of their Miranda rights and could not contribute to their own defense - sick people who comprise 60% of America's 25,000 inmates who are tortured by solitary confinement with gas sprayed on them or deadly restraint chairs used for their control.
If this online advocacy helps to change the perception of psychiatrically impaired persons and motivates the public to demand positive change in the living conditions of these suffering citizens and their families, then Larry Neal's death will not be in vain. His elderly mother's tears over losing her "special" child and placing her trust in duplicitous attorneys who only sought to trick her will not be in vain. This writer's endangerment and year of seclusion in her home for safety will have been wothwhile.
Over 800 people and organizations have joined the Neal family in requesting Dog Justice for Larry Neal on two petitions to the USDOJ. Petitioners urge the DOJ to give this American with disabilities the same investigative effort that Michael Vick's pit bull dogs received when they were abused and killed. View Current Signatures and read the comments on the open petition at this link: http://www.petitiononline.com/Neal/petition-sign.html
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
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Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States