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Eddie Brown - Investigative Journalist

Eddie Brown, investigative journalist

Eddie Brown, investigative journalist for the FW Weekly, uncovers some improprieties amongst several Tarrant County District Attorneys. Eddie shares several cases, one personal, that outline a lack of oversight amongst those charged with upholding the law. Fascinating!

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Episode Transcription: 

roxo media house welcome back to fortitude folks JW
Wilson with my co-host Brinton Payne lasso youth uh brought to you of course by our friends at cap text Bank our old
friend Eddie Brown is back here today our investigative journalist buddy from the fourth weekly
last time he was here he exposed some issues related to the Tarrant County judges presiding over some cases where
they weren’t appropriately certified ones correct today though Brinton some
Tarrant County Prosecutors been doing some things maybe they shouldn’t be doing fair to say fair to say welcome to
the show back to show Eddie Brown we appreciate the time let’s get into it hang on real quick Eddie have you ever I mean what if what if we get in trouble
and Eddie’s saying this about the prosecutors we’re going to be like looked at In a Different Light I feel
good I’m unconscious it’s clear don’t get into any legal trouble you don’t get you won’t get caught up in the system they’re easier said than done easier
said than done um I want to mention all the stories I’m going to talk about today have been
published at the weekly so uh it’s all stuff that’s already out there and we’ve already vetted it and whatnot but um I
wanted to start by talking about prosecutors and um amongst all the different levels of the Criminal Justice
System um they receive routinely the least amount of scrutiny and I was thinking about that um I think
there’s really two reasons and I say scrutiny from the public and the media right they’re very rarely mentioned if
they are it’s just you know they’re Prosecuting this in that case um I think right now there’s a lot of public attention on policing and so I
think there’s a kind of disproportionate uh you know amount of attention being paid to uh policing basically we all see
that every day um secondly I think uh you know popular culture uh think Law and Order you know
movies um that portray prosecutors um are almost always uh they do in a way
that kind of reveres the position and through my work at the weekly and I enjoy looking at the criminal justice
system I think it’s important for folks to remember that just like police just like you and me uh these are humans and
they have um emotions and intrinsic biases just like everyone else and while their job
is to be on a neutral Arbiter of Justice
um they’re still humans and um according to the Washington Post around 30 percent of wrongful convictions are the results
of prosecutorial misconduct so that could be uh withholding evidence that would help the defense that could be
outright lying during the trial um prosecutors are there to win right so they’re there to to win um those figures
are they know what their winning percentage is and that’s you know one criteria that’s used they would deny it
but that is one criteria that’s used to promote them and whatnot so I have uh five stories I want to share today about
uh prosecutors and it’ll kind of shed light on kind of a more realistic
nuanced look at the role they play in Tarrant County I’m going to start with our top
prosecutor who’s a top prosecutor in Tarrant County right now Sharon Wilson’s gone Phil Sorrels Phil Sorrels yeah just took
office and he um was the GM though right like he doesn’t actually prosecute he’s
considered the the district attorney everyone else uh you won’t see him in court Prosecuting you’re correct that’s a good point but he is a district
attorney he is the top prosecutor he decides uh has say on which cases are prosecuted and whatnot under him are a
large number of assistant District Attorneys these are the folks who you will see in the courtroom actually Prosecuting the cases so it’s an
important distinction he’s a long time uh was a long time County criminal judge and um last year I talked to a general
named gentleman named Brendan Jones so this story has to deal with Phil Sorrels as time as judged in 2021 right before
he ran but it’s important because Phil Sorrels is now the top uh district
attorney over this same case and he arguably created this um this case fabricated this case
so Brandon Jones um he’s a young man married um has a stepdaughter and um some family
court issues came up expelled over into the criminal court system this happens fairly often someone makes allegations
um there were a lot of police you know someone meaning his exes his wife’s ex made some allegations and was sending
police over constantly uh harassing him and so his his family went into hiding and he refused to tell a family court
judge where the location was and so that you know that leads to jail time that led to him being uh what he would say
was you know falsely arrested and they said he was resisting arrest which he denied so that whole family Corridor
deal landed Brendan in Criminal Courts number 10.
on October 4th 2021 and when he arrived his his account of the story is that um
when he was talking to judge sorel’s uh Sorrels took offense with the fact that
Jones was he said being polite but but also criticizing the fact that he was
having to be there uh without any without having committed any discernible crime and so Phil according to Brendan and I
have some documentation here which we’ll go over um said that Phil looked at him and said well I guess you’re not it’s present
which means he was going to issue a bench warrant for non-appearance um which they do if you don’t show up
for court those who have bench warrant and Brennan realized what Phil was verbally threatening and he went
downstairs with several witnesses and signed an affidavit in the county clerk’s office and I have a copy of that
here that’s that same day and time swearing that he was present in courts and there’s a witness and it is
certified by the office of the county clerk which is next to which is on the second floor of the Tim Curry building
and it’s interesting if you look at the um the bench warrants said they called roll at 9 49 A.M
which is interesting because they would have called roll at 9 00 a.m that’s when that’s when you have to be seated you
have to be presents and they call a roll one time you’re either there or you aren’t right either on time and you’re
present or you’re not for them to call roll again almost an hour later is very
suspect and it it is um it appears that it was done as soon
as Brennan left to to catch him you know not being in court and so he has this
outstanding bench warrants that has not allowed him to he’s in hiding um he hasn’t been he has not been able
to see his wife and daughter because of this and um like I said he can’t get his life
back together and he hopes that because um this order was this whole uh bench
warrant was ordered by Phil Sorrels who is now the top prosecutor he argues that the D.A cannot ethically prosecute this
case so we have an example I think a lot of people think whenever a prosecutor is Prosecuting something it’s
a an actual crime and you know B uh ethically a crime right we’ll talk about some things that were technically crimes
that prosecutors have gone after that arguably should never have been prosecuted um so that’s the first example do you guys have any questions
on that yeah so why why is he fighting this I mean it’s clear he has evidence that he was there
during the time he was really not there why didn’t does he have an attorney I’m guessing can his attorney just prove
this really quickly to be a falsehood yeah I don’t know if he has an attorney he probably will seek that he is going
to have people speak at the Commissioner’s Court coming up in the near future to make this very public we of course we published a story on this
Phil did not respond to our question our request for comments um but it seems if if what Brennan is
saying is is true and it’s backed up by what I’ve read and witnessed statements
um it seems absurd that the D.A would still be prosecuting this case it’s very you know it’s very clear just based on
the government’s own documents there’s some really weird things going going on here so sure so yes it would be it would be the role of a of a defense attorney
to talk to the DA’s office um but this is a very high profile case that’s probably
um embarrassing for the DA’s office so in these situations what I found and I’ll share some stories are very similar
they’ll kind of double down on being wrong about something out of Pride and
spite sure because it’s embarrassing so unfortunately in these cases you’ll kind
of see the District Attorney’s Office kind of dig their heels in they maybe wait a couple years before they drop the charges finally which is horrible yeah
I’ll put bench warrant like that like what is uh what’s the what time that
this other guy would have to like is that pretty significant that bench warrant like that if he were to be
arrested if he showed up to uh it was arrested he would he would serve
um I’m sure not not like a year in jail but he would be in jail for for a while so it’s a serious thing I’m not sure
exactly what it is um month or a week or something in jail it’s enough that he doesn’t want to show about the Tarrant County Fair uh and and
the DA’s office could drop this um instantly where do you get access to these stories you go and comb through
like how did you like this one would tip you got a dip or something he must have reached out to me I think I think
someone reads A lot of these cases are people reaching out to me then I’ll I’ll meet them and um you know can you meet
him yeah I did meet him this guy you can’t tell us where because no he’s not
in Tarrant County right now either way so but at that time do you know where he is now Eddie I do but I guess that’s all
right yeah yeah but you’re you’re in contact with them I’m in contact with him yes and I met him and even when I met him of course anytime he shows up in
public it’s you know it’s it puts his safety his Liberty I should say uh and possibly his safety in in Jeopardy uh
but yeah he reached out to me and what I do with these Pro with these stories is I talk to them and one of the first
things I ask is for them to back up everything they say with with documents and he was one that was very good he
literally had a pile of he’d been collecting you know just like I do he knows how to ask for stuff and that’s
where I’m like okay this guy’s he’s backing up what he’s saying and then you continue talking talk to other Witnesses okay it’s very consistent and then you
reach the point like okay it’s I would I’ll put my name I’ll put my name behind it it’s very credible at that point it’s like fair so the one thing though you
said is that the it appear it seemed to me maybe I made this assumption that the
wife and the wife was making the accusations I’m sorry I started it to begin with but the wife’s ex-husband
okay yes because then you were saying that he couldn’t see his wife and family or whatever right and then you were like
wait why would he want to see them if they’re the ones who kind of no no they didn’t I mean his wife and stepdaughter
didn’t do anything wrong they were terrified by all the uh police uh resulting police raids and Brendan’s
arrest and all this kind of stuff and so they’ve just kind of from what I understand they’ve gone into hiding for their own safety okay it’s a real tragic
story yeah next story so um this one I’m gonna be kind of brief on this next one
because the the last three I think are really really important but the idea
that people who are you know in jail or being prosecuted they must be bad guys there’s a gentleman named Manuel Mata
who’s a local citizen journalist so he’s a cop Watcher uh it’s a very popular thing on YouTube now to see people going
out and videotaping police and government buildings so he does this and so uh his job
um invariably offends you know local police and
um and so he’s made he’s made enemies with um with law enforcement and I’ll give you two examples of two times he was
arrested while doing his uh his cop watching one he was uh this is all live streams you can literally watch these
interactions in Fort Worth uh one he’s walking to a gas station and a fourth police officer Bengal approaches him
Bengal clearly recognizes Manuel Mata um and says that mod is interfering with
a police investigation well way in the background about a football fields uh length away is uh the police had pulled
over somebody right mod is trying to get to the gas station he said he said it’s going to get uh some cigarettes and this officer is
going up and saying no you cannot walk on this sidewalk and then eventually um are you filming it yeah yeah and he
said he there’s a lot of this sometimes he’s filming just for his own self to uh safety he wasn’t even like you know
trying to cop watch that more he just if he sees a cop approaching he turns on his camera and a lot of people are learning you have to do this
um either to protect herself or to later exonerate yourself right and so that video is is very clear but he was
arrested and he spent a month in jail for that and you can watch the video and see that he didn’t commit any crime whatsoever
um another incident he was in the turn Appraisal District uh building and was there as a citizen journalist
filming the events and again you know Tad some of these places
um they don’t like what he does so they booted him out around June and as
they’re pushing him out they allege that he assaulted one of the officers um again it’s videotaped both from his
point of view and another gentleman’s point of view and the security cameras I’ve watched it all and he does he doesn’t hit anyone
so but he’s again you know rested and he spends another month in jail he’s currently facing several misdemeanor
charges um all stemming from his work uh as a First Amendment auditor someone who’s
working in the public interest but he does piss off law enforcement and District Attorneys very often work very
closely with law enforcement yeah with law enforcements they would say that they don’t uh but that’s not true they
they’re they’re basic they you know they’re basically friends they know each other and so that’s I wanted to mention his name because you know he’s he’s you
know these things can last for years before they they resolve these cases but he’s someone who the community looks up
to and respects and uh the local criminal justice system has targeted him uh purely because he embarrasses
um local officials public officials so Emmanuel Mata okay um yeah does he have
a YouTube site at uh manual m-a-n-u-e-l uh matz I believe you can
find him yeah pretty popular some of this stuff is I’ve seen a couple of these over the over the over time but it’s it’s impressive what he’s doing to
oh okay I I feel like there’s a there’s a place for this in the world it makes me nervous yeah obviously for that
reason but yeah yes people do this now that are trying to catch keep the cops honest and obviously we know cops are
relatively good in that regard but there are some out there that maybe do some things that this guy’s looking for so
what you know what’s your take on that I can venture to guess where you’re gonna go on this but it you know but are we
getting to a point where you know people change when they’re on camera we got a camera here I’m asking you things maybe
a little bit differently than I would if we were just sitting around having a cup of coffee or something like that but
um are we are we policing ourselves too much because you know that most likely
the officers are like I’m getting filmed I don’t want to be film you know that kind of thing and so playing the other
side of it is it is it necessary to just be filming all the time you know everywhere and
everything and some people that’s their lives right that’s their livelihood and things like that and going and finding
um exciting and Sensational thing you being from the media are we getting too Sensational you know about all of this
stuff are we selling our souls for a little bit of excitement you know uh what do you think yeah the uh the
citizen auditor the citizen journalists movements um it’s hard to categorize them as as uh
they’re not unified you have some people who do it very carefully you have some people who are very outlandish and so
it’s it’s it’s hard to um talk about it without admitting that um there are
people that do a better job than others right a more responsible job at it but at its core it’s it’s the idea that if
if we do not assert certain rights we will lose them and I think that’s a fair
um assertion and I think when you watch these videos and you see government officials totally unaware that we yes we
have every right to be inside public buildings filming we do that’s a that is a constitutional right to see how many
elected officials government staff cops do not understand that I think they need
to learn that and I think if if we allow that to be eroded we’re going to find
ourselves in a position where government thinks that we work for them and I think that’s that’s that’s the the battle that
that they’re involved in does all that recording though push things to a darker place in your opinion I’m sure it upsets
um and you can tell you’re right you know to your point it does um when you put a camera in front of the cop’s face it you can tell it makes them agitated
right they don’t like it um but I think you know people citizen Auditors would argue that it’s
their job to be the adult in the room and I think it’s the same way actually with Phil Sorrels because you know when
we published a story I saw a comments someone said how dare they talk back you know this person talk back to a judge or
you know they they invited this you know retaliation and I don’t mind you know saying that uh it’s not it’s not the
judge’s job to um do anything but be an adult and I don’t care what that
person says unless they’re threatening you which Brandon Jones wasn’t um if they’re upsetting you as a
government official you need to put those emotions behind you because your job is you’re a public servant and your
job is to either Minister the law or enforce the law or you know as processors prosecutors do
um enforce a law in a courtroom so I mean yes it gets people upset but I think we
need to understand that the burden is on the people that we’re paying as taxpayers to be the responsible adult at
all times it’s hard though because we’re at a place sorry just something yeah yeah yeah yeah uh we’re we’re doing all
kinds of things I recently saw the mayor of our you know our great mayor in this great City talk about
um some of the things she had to go through and making the decision to run again and things like that and it’s just
one of those deals where we’re just getting more and more primitive in our ways and it’s harder and harder I think
for people no matter who they are where they are to keep that emotional restraint especially if they’ve got a
cell phone camera in their Facebook keep going on the street fair point so I want to say most of the time for uh did you
like my opinion there no no it’s it’s a it’s an important perspective
um to bring that you know sometimes I mean I’m not going to be an apologist for every citizen journalist if they’re
going out there being Reckless and it’s exciting things I’m not I am not advocating for that but a lot of them do
with the right intentions I would say most and do with the right intentions um I want to spend the last part of our
conversation talking about a prosecutor in Tarrant County he’s one of the top prosecutors there of the white collar
crimes division um his name is Lloyd witchell and his job is to investigate corrupt public
officials and these three stories I have would say that arguably Lloyd witchell
is one of the if not the most corrupt public official uh in Tarrant County so
it’s not without irony that his job is to investigate um why call our crimes I’ll just say so
I’m gonna give you three stories um what an introduction yeah what an introduction so I’ve got now that well
we’ll just start the show at this point um I’m gonna go chronologically because there are three stories he uh cases he
prosecuted um that are very interesting um the oldest one it wasn’t that long
ago um were these two South Lake school board members in early 2021 I don’t know
if you remember these two school board members were indicted for violating the openings meetings act open meetings acts
and I’ve spent a lot of time investigating this story and I was nominated for a journalism award
um Tarrant County has never prosecuted an opens meetings act violations in the history I requested copies from the
county of any example than prosecuting um it’s very rarely prosecuted in the
state of Texas because it’s a hard case to prosecute it’s it’s um you know it’s it’s it’s a bureaucratic it’s an important law but
it’s kind of bureaucratic and it elected officials understandably might make mistakes or not you know comply with
levels it’s not a very it’s not as clear-cut as other crimes or it’s not like theft uh so anyway
um the DA’s office had never prosecuted this case this type of crime I should say uh in its history
um the timing of it happening rights as the elections were occurring for the school board was interesting and then I
realized that it was never investigated by the police so typically what happens
with um charges usually at local law enforce enforcement will do the initial investigation and they’ll ask the
District Attorney’s office to accept the case so unprecedented prosecutions have always kind of caught my attention so
um if if a DA’s office is Prosecuting something a type of crime for the first
time in its history that’s that’s always of Interest right because there’s usually a reason that they do not
there’s a reason that the this attorney’s office did not prosecute the opening meeting act for the past I don’t
know whatever 80 90 years the office has been in existence maybe longer um and there’s usually a reason for that
a lot of large organizations that very Brazen brazenly
um keep the public out of important meetings and this was an
example where two board members were texting each other trying to resolve a very painful moment in that City’s
history as it came to terms with um just rampant racism within that City so
these are two board members who um were trying to heal the community but they
became used as political political Pawns in an election that ultimately got our County Judge elected
um Lord witchell was also involved in a case of a former Justice of the piece
named Jackie Wright and this was another unprecedented uh prosecution this time
uh Lloyd whitchell prosecuted someone for not updating their homestead
exemption so uh Jackie is an elderly lady she
did not she found out I should say because I don’t know what she did or didn’t know but she found out that her
home did not have the proper homestead exemption because she rents she has a couple homes that she’s renting um so in 2019
um she contacted Tad noted the error brought it to their attention and then paid the
money that she owed but what she didn’t know is at that same time as she’s doing that the District Attorney’s Office uh
is investigating her um and then after she pays the arrears
um she is indicted on these felony charges for uh what was vaguely called public corruption at the time and so um
what in talking to Jack and her family um she had made enemies with some
powerful folks um JD Wells um uh JD Johnson apologized and uh who’s
the commissioner at the time and Jody Johnson who is the Constable at the time and some other Republican operatives and
so she maintains that uh they want her out of office and so it’s important to understand
um not updating your homestead exemption is not a criminal act there’s no penal
code violation in Texas for um you know forgetting to update your your um your homes exemption it’s a
civil matter I wouldn’t think so yeah it’s a civil matter they don’t come arrest you they don’t throw you in jail it’s not a felony it’s a civil matter so
if they find out if tear the president finds out you haven’t paid your uh money they contact you and you pay your money
you have to pay it but it’s it’s not it’s never given to the fourth PD or something and
so the District Attorney’s office they were in an interesting situation because they had caught her doing something that
literally was not a crime but they had already indicted her so they needed to
come up with something to charge her with and what they did was they came up with this idea of government tampering
of a document um so that’s that’s the charge she eventually went to trial for
um early last year and I want to emphasize we think of tampering with the government document and we’ve actually
found public officials who’ve done this uh Jeff law you know with Tad
but I imagine someone you know breaking into a building pulling out a file uh getting a Sharpie you know altering
something um and to be clear Jackie never tampered with any document this was a document
that existed in Tad’s office right and whenever she notified them about it they
updated the document so it’s it was really it was a real stretch to say that this old lady forgetting to update her
exemption uh was tampering with the documents I also found out from uh tads
on records turn Appraisal District that’s at any given time in Tarrant County there are thousands of people who
have not updated their homestead exemption uh maybe their parent died and they moved into the house and they’re still enjoying that tax break it happens
they’re not supposed to do that but it happens or someone you know uses it um misuses it to save money you know or
it’s just an accident I don’t think the District Attorney’s Office District Attorney’s office is
going to indict all those people with felonies so anyway um they didn’t die Jackie and I went to
the trial because I was I was blown away by the um the basics of the case you know this
lady had forgotten to update her humps exemption and she was arrested and charged with a felony and I knew the
background I knew a lot about the Johnson family I knew the kind of the political Intrigue you know Precinct four
um it all was very consistent uh with what we found and ironically JD’s office was is or was incredibly corrupt I mean
he would use government materials and and resources and employees for his personal campaign and it’s all
documented um but he was never charged with anything right so if you’re part of the old boy club you can pretty much do
anything get away with it but if you if you become enemies with the old boy club you get thrown in jail
um unfortunately Jackie um was found guilty you have this I was
found guilty of the the charges and she’s currently appealing her case and the judge in front of that sorry the
judge presiding over that case uh Was Daryl Coffey so that’s what got me following uh the retired judges and
looking into uh false uh assignments as a senior judge all the stuff that has happened
um in in the intervening uh almost a year was because of Jackie’s case and I also want to mention the number two
prosecutor at the DA’s office is Rob Catalano and he recused himself from
Jackie’s case but was still present there during the trial and I’ve asked
him he’s never answered the question why did he recuse himself from the case and bring in and bringing in this bogus
retired judge who had no oath of office on file and he was never a senior judge and so anyways now we’ve talked about
Phil we’ve talked about Rob Catalano one more story about Lloyd whitchell um
last September um I was found not guilty of harassment and by a jury and so um I was this is a
personal story Lloyd witchell was the prosecutor in my case and you know long story short
I’m finally out of this family court reunification process
um these false charges were used to try to keep me from seeing my daughter a lot of times people will make up stuff to to
skew the the family court process and so that’s what happened with me
um 12 13 phone calls unanswered phone calls I had made to um a man who was hiding my child in his
house was used as an alleged criminal offense um and that was also partly contrived by
the District Attorney’s Office whose good friends who maintains close connections with my daughter’s maternal
family right so I’m fully exonerated from that but um in the three years that I was facing
these bogus charges uh Lloyd witchell was Sharon Wilson I should say placed Lloyd witchell on my case so
the white-collar crimes top prosecutor was placed on my Class B misdemeanor
charge as a sign of we have power over you now
all right so I’ve by that point I’ve written a lot of scathing things about Sharon Wilson and Lloyd witchell and so
the whole idea that that he would be the one over my case and he tried his darndest in court
um to get me found guilty because it would have been a blemish on my career and it would have been payback
um and he and he honestly lost his temp he was very clear he lost his temper during the trial and made up a lot of
things fabricated a lot of things to do anything he could to find me guilty and he ultimately lost
um but I want to read a letter and maybe this will be the last thing we do because I know we’re running close on time this kind of summarizes the
situation that I was in and I sent this letter to the the District Attorney’s
Office a few weeks before my trial just to put them on notice about how absurd
that what they were doing was so here’s the letter that they have on record
I am filing this letter so the District Attorney’s Office cannot feign ignorance about the actions of D.A Sharon Wilson
and assistant district attorney Lloyd witchell in the coming weeks the intentional placement of which will over
my harassment trial is an overt Act of aggression and intimidation on the part
of Wilson and Mitchell and a possible violation of section 3902 abuse of
official office which explicitly Outlaws the use of office to harm or defraud
another or Texas Penal Code 3903 which prohibits an official from using their
office to mistreat an individual at ish you are more than a dozen articles published by the fourth weekly
that have undoubtedly maligned whistle’s reputation many of those articles were written by myself and I am the co-author of many of
the editorials that have similarly reported on malfeasance on the part of the D.A of D.A Wilson for three years my
case which involves unanswered phone calls to a middle-aged man who is hiding my daughter in his home
has been subject to last minute court cancellations and an absolute lack of effort to resolve this matter so I can
finally resolve my child custody case the message was clear stop investigating
tips related to the DA’s office and I want to say be clear they never offered any form of plea bargaining for three
years this was done to force me to go to trial so which one could have his revenge on me all right back to the
letter it defies belief that out of all of the assistant district attorneys who can be tasked with disposing of a Class
B misdemeanor from someone with no criminal record that the head of white-collar crimes happens to be
assigned to my trial witchell has placed himself in a position where he can finally seek retribution for my
reporting on the two Carroll School Board indictments that singularly served the interests of himself the recipient
of district attorney Wilson’s endorsement for County Judge our magazines reporting on the trial of
Jackie Wright has similarly maligned the reputation of Wilson whitchell and the public Integrity unit both bodies of
reporting made me a finalist for a First Amendment award and Diamond award attached you will see links to my
articles on witchell our newspapers reporting on D.A Wilson are well known so I’m not including those links in June
2019 I’ve documented obstruction of justice on the part of assistant district attorney Alfredo Valverde and
Bots attempts to cover up those actions basically the da went out of the way to fabricate these criminal charges in the
first place and that could be its own story um I should not be the subject to retribution or intimidation for
exercising my rights as a U.S citizen to file sworn complaints tied to those Acts or as a journalist following news tips
wherever they lead so anyway that’s uh that’s Lloyd witchell and that’s at this
attorney’s office way of trying to seek revenge on a news reporter so
yeah what do you hope comes from this I mean I I appreciate you telling your story what are you wanting this to
become you’ve worded on it you’ve published it you’ve talked about it here with us what is your what is your
desired outcome if there is one again I I um you know my trial was was closely
followed by a lot of people and a lot of attorneys were very interested in it and when when Lloyd lost it was considered a
big victory for um you know for justice and integrity in Tarrant County my
one one of the reasons I’m I’m focused on prosecutors and I’m talking to you on your show today is that again I I think
prosecutors are not scrutinized um to the levels that they should be
they have incredible leeway on uh whether they fabricate uh criminal
charges knowingly uh withhold evidence uh willfully keep people facing charges
who they know are innocent for purely political and Petty reasons and and so we have an honest understanding of the
role that they can play um the in creating injustices in our system we’ll never have a system that
works for the people is the journalism that you’re speaking of is that the way that to keep these folks honest
is that how this how these guys get kept in check that’s one way to do it um they
have incredible levels of immunity so they can commit things that would be considered criminal acts in the line of
their their work and uh they’re immune from it just like judges are so until there are reforms that allow uh
prosecutors to be uh prosecuted um or disbarred more easily
um they’re never it’s very unlikely that of their own volition they will do the right thing simply because
um I’m exposing them I wish that that were enough um that public sentiment were enough but
there needs to be there needs to be meaningful reforms um that allows that causes prosecutors
to understand that they can get in trouble they can not only lose their job they can go to jail um for this the types of misconduct that
we’ve discussed today do prosecutors get prosecuted ever I can’t think of you
know if they if they go if they pull out a gun and shoot someone to court I guess they would get prosecuted but if they do
anything in their capacity as uh prosecutors um even to the extent that they
um you know withhold evidence at least to someone being executed or you know and stuff like that has happened
um they’re never as so much as sued you know they’re they’re completely immune from anything and in what career in what
other job can you name if someone screws up rurally that they have absolutely no
there’s absolutely no accountability so that’s that’s something that’s very unique to prosecutors judges and
district attorneys in this show Eddie sometimes yeah yeah sometimes I think
it’s reflective actually of like our whole system right now not just in the
public sector but the private sector as well I mean I just think that we’re at a place in time where
um there’s maybe not a lot of accountability and I’m not saying that because I agree with some of the kind of
accusations you made here today I just um I do think you know
um uh it’s difficult uh to get good people
in good jobs to to continue to do things when there’s this much speculation you
know over so many things uh and their actions and things like that and in the government side of things it’s a very
open book or it should be on you know what they are I I think you know quite
honestly these things happen all throughout Society it’s just that there’s not the Freedom of Information
Act that a corporation you can’t go and say Hey I want a foia you at McDonald’s
for spitting in my burger I mean it’s just you know and and I think that that is where a lot of the degradation of uh
American government has gone is because of um the ability of going and just
fine-tooth combing everything I mean it it makes it real difficult you know and I’m and I’m not I hope you take that as
just oh yeah yeah sure you’re absolutely right there there’s an open records act for you know what happens at McDonald’s
but there’s a fundamental difference but between government and private business and there’s there’s regulations for
private business you know the SEC there’s ways to do that but we all have a vested interest in government because
that is um that’s that’s the ideal that that will either allow us to have our civil
rights or not McDonald’s is not going to meaningfully infringe on our civil rights McDonald is not going to falsely
jail us or uh shoot us you know during during a a traffic stop so you know I do
I do draw uh respectfully draw the distinction between the two and I think any government scrutiny is good and
welcome clearly you do my friend well Eddie thank you for sharing your thoughts here and and excellent work I
know you’re always looking for to do to do right with your with your investigative journalism so thank you for sharing it the best way we
appreciate you very much thanks for having me on we look forward to next time thank you for watching 42 thank you Captain thank you next time