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Latest In Milwaukee Dems Tire Slashing Case

I haven’t been following this case, apart from reading about the original crime when it was first reported after the elections.

But it seems that Smith has inadvertently presented some damning eyewitness evidence. Of course you would never know that from this write-up in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The article is so confusingly written as to be almost indecipherable. I suspect the local one party media is doing its level best to obscure the new revelations whilst trying to discredit Smith and her testimony.

Democratic worker soured on city

Police surrounded woman after Nov. 2 tire slashings

Jan. 13, 2006

The defense in the election day tire-slashing case tried Friday to deepen a furrow between the defendants, all Democratic staffers from the Milwaukee area, and their out-of-state colleagues who had come to town to help the party win Wisconsin.

Under extensive cross-examination, Alicia E. Smith may have helped sell the idea. She bluntly described how she felt going home to Virginia after being surrounded by police who thought she might have had something to do with the crippling of 25 rented vans outside Republican Party headquarters.

"I never wanted to come back to Milwaukee," Smith said.

Michael Pratt, 33, Sowande Omokunde, 26, Lewis G. Caldwell, 29, Lavelle Mohammad, 36, and Justin Howell, 21, were in the fifth day of their trial for felony property destruction, charges that carry possible 3 1/2 -year prison terms and $10,000 fines upon conviction. Counsel for some of the group have suggested that the out-of-state Democratic operatives who stirred emotions for the 2004 Bush-Kerry election could really be responsible for the crimes.

Smith, who testified Thursday she had seen the defendants enter two white vans after midnight on Nov. 2, 2004, and return to the Democratic Party offices with muddy shoes and clothes (the damaged vehicles were parked in rain-soaked dirt lot), was asked by defense attorneys Friday about why she hadn’t shared those details with the FBI in 2004.

Smith had earlier said she watched the opening statements and testimony of a security guard on Court TV’s Webcast of the trial before she came to Milwaukee, during which the mud and vans were prominently mentioned by Assistant District Attorney David Feiss.

Why she omitted mud

Smith said she might have omitted the vans and mud because she didn’t think the details important.

"They were asking me about the tire-slashing, and I gave them information on that," Smith said. ". . . I did not want the FBI investigating me."

She also testified she did not tell the FBI that she and other out-of-state campaign workers had been out the same night stealing Republican yard signs.

Robin Shellow, who represents Omokunde, repeatedly asked Smith questions about her sense of time, which Smith had told investigators she has a loose grasp of, and about how she had felt when pulled over by Milwaukee police later on election night because she was driving in a caravan with a car that had been spotted by a security guard near the crime scene.

"I felt very uncomfortable. It was like something in a movie," Smith said. ". . . Police surrounding your car and asking you to get out – that’s not how most election days end."

The trial resumes Tuesday, after a break for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. More out-of-state Democratic campaign workers are expected to testify.

Lest we forget, the "youths" in question are all related to local Democrat potentates. For instance, the 26 year old youth humorously styled "Sowande Omokunde" is the son of Wisconsin Congressperson Gwen Moore. The 33 year old youth, Michael Pratt, is the scion of the former Dem Milwaukee Mayor.

But apparently the reporter here thought such information of no importance. It is far more important to give Ms Smith’s views on the city and her feelings about being surrounded by the police.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, January 14th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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