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Ardmore media yawns as huge story goes viral on social media

KXII
Ardmore Chief Ken Grace thinks everyone asking questions about Sgt Woolly's actions are a bunch of "idiots."
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Since posting our story this past weekend, “WOOLLY BULLY: Rogue Ardmore cop shoots, kills family pet; has reported ‘issues,’” we have received thousands of page views and the story about a rogue cop shooting and killing a friendly, family dog and saying how "awesome" it was, has gone absolutely viral on social and alternative media.

But the mainstream media supposedly serving the citizens of Ardmore, Oklahoma? Not so much. The case of Cali the pit bull and her untimely demise has been greeted not just with disinterest but with outright hostility from the bourgeois media and power structure in Ardmore. In fact, when Red Dirt Report contacted a newspaper and television news station - both purportedly serving the citizens of Ardmore - little interest in this huge story was in evidence.

But why?

Surprisingly, the local newspaper, The Ardmoreite, has failed to feature a single story on this shocking report involving the outrageous and callous behavior of Ardmore Police Sgt. Brice Woolly, a man who reportedly has issues that - at least in the past - have made him psychologically unfit to serve as a police officer. 

Talking to Ardmoreite publisher Kim Benedict on Monday, she told Red Dirt Report that while their office has “fielded a ton of calls” regarding the shooting of Cali, she and her staff don’t see a story.

“It’s not a story", Benedict told Red Dirt Report. “It’s not true at all.”

It would seem that Ms. Benedict has all the facts and has effectively decided that the police officer involved in this incident is a boy scout - an angel. 

Benedict admitted that the story regarding the officer shooting Cali had “spiraled out of control” but that they have been talking to the officer in question and the Ardmore Police Department and are assured that the facts are not what folks are claiming on social media forums.

When Red Dirt Report asked Benedict if she saw the “news value” in reporting on a story that was generating tons of attention – a story that she personally felt was being misrepresented by Cali’s family and those online – she reluctantly said that her reporters were “working on it.”

We won't be holding our breath, Kim.

And over at KXII, one of the TV stations “serving the Texoma region," there is no evidence of any stories on the Cali case there either.

Well, we called KXII and sought out Matt Griffin, the station’s news director. He wasn’t in, but we left a message. We called again later this afternoon and they said he was “working ill” and unavailable. Another news leader hiding under their desk it would seem.

However, one concerned citizen did receive a comment from Griffin where he stated –without backing it up with evidence – that Cali was a problem dog and that they were not doing a story on it. That settles that.

Our sense of this is that the establishment media in Ardmore are reflexively supporting the police before getting all the facts. As we noted in our original story on Saturday, Officer Woolly shot and killed a man, Jeff Wayne Baxter, in Tishomingo, Oklahoma in 2000.

According to court documents related to that shooting and death, Woolly was allegedly found to be lying about what happened when he shot the unarmed man.

As the report states: “In this case, taking the evidence in the light most favorable to Plaintiff results in a finding that Woolly’s conduct violated the constitutional right of Jeffrey to be from the use of excessive force. The uncertainty as to what transpired during the course of the eight-second span leading up to the shooting of Jeffrey, as evidenced by the arguable inconsistency between Woolly’s account and the videotape, supports a reasonable inference being drawn that the events did not transpire as recounted by Woolly.”

Has KXII or The Ardmoreite looked into Woolly’s background? Clearly, the citizens of Ardmore have a right to know everything about Sgt. Woolly’s past and his checkered encounters with the public. Just reading the comments at the Southern Oklahoma Cop Block Facebook page is enough to make it all-too-clear that the public is fed up with being abused and not being listened to by those who should be representing their interests and offering all the facts.

Meanwhile, local Republican activist Anna Flatt, in a piece at LibertyOnTap.org, wrote a passionate piece headlined “Justice for Cali: What Will It Take for Police Officers to Stop Killing Pets?”

Quickly, one gets the impression that the Ardmore Police Department has a very contemptuous opinion of the concerned citizens of Ardmore, with Chief Ken Grace, the former Carter County Sheriff, repeatedly calling people contacting his office “idiots.” This, while Flatt was accompanying Cali’s owner, Sarah Brown, to the police station, seeking answers about Woolly’s behavior and protocol in these sorts of situations.

Grace, who has been chief of the troubled police department in Ardmore for only three months, is reportedly not talking to the media and as Flatt explains in her article “(Grace) completely brushed us off, saying to every single question that he couldn’t comment …”

The public, meanwhile, is demanding answers, even if the local obsequious media refuses to do its job. Red Dirt Report will continue to update this story and we have learned that there will be a protest rally on Saturday March 29, 2014 at the Ardmore Police Station from noon to 2 p.m. 

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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