Readers of our City Council Election blog may have noticed that, instead of writing about Thurston Smith, I inserted a legal disclaimer. Now I can reveal the full story.
On the fifth of July I was served with a temporary Order of Protection (PDF) filed by Thurston Smith. The order is a tissue of lies, but my attorney advised me not to post anything, and I don’t keep a dog and bark myself. The protection order was lifted (PDF) and expunged (JPG) yesterday (July 29th 2019) and now I am free to post without the threat of jail time.
The provisions of the order were savage, with confiscation of weapons, compulsory anger management courses, payment of court costs and more.
Updated 8/4/2019. I received an email from a friendly lawyer.
Wasn’t obtaining the Order of Protection the equivalent of a SLAPP suit?
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.
Wasn’t it also an abuse of process?
The first lie on the form is my height. Smith peggged me at 5′ 7″. The tallest I’ve ever been is 5′ 5 1/2″ and advancing age has reduced me to under 5′ 3″.
The big lie here was that the February 24th event was private. In fact, his announcement of candidacy for District 7 was clearly a public event.
The Facebook event, which was posted on the public page MRYE: Memphis Raise your Expectations!!!, was marked “Public” and was widely circulated. I replied “Going” as above, turned up at the door, signed in and was admitted.
Other lies: “Petitioner stated that Fergus Nolan then located him through social media”. In fact, Thurston located me through social media, sent a friend request and contacted me through Facebook Personal Messengerin December 2018. I still have records of this conversation.
He later called me, which is how I got his number. I did not call him until June 28th.
Made Flyers. Untrue. I have not made a flyer since 2016. If I want to make a flyer, I do one page with QR codes to reduce litter and paper wastage, and let people scan the QR with their phones.
I did not say “police hag”. It would have been “Pighag” which is a movie starring Anna T. Schlegel.
“Began peeping through windows”. Untrue. I did not cross the zero lot line which is about 12 feet from the windows.
Pacing back and forth. Not true. I am mobility impaired and am economical with my movements.
Left after 20 minutes. Not true. I arrived at 4:40 PM, made a phone call at 4:45 and left at 4:47. Seven minutes, confirmed by the timestamps on the photos I took.
“Petitioner is in fear for his life”. At the announcement event, there were over 40 of his friends present, and I was unarmed and alone. At his house, he was safely inside and I was again unarmed and alone. He is not in fear for his life. He is in fear of being exposed. Smith knows that his police buddies like to make this claim to violate people’s fourth amendment rights against search and seizure.
The June 28th Visit to Thurston’s House
On June 27th, I noticed that, although Smith owns a nice house he bought for $200,000 in Arlington, from the address on his Appointment of Campaign Treasurer, he appeared to be living in a dilapidated house bought from a bank in 2009, for less than $25,000, by his campaign Communications Director, Lloyd Brown. The documents are here (PDF). This piqued my interest enough for a reconnaissance.
After an abortive visit on the 27th, where I did not find the right house, I hung my media ID around my neck and drove to his house on Friday June 28th with the aid of a GPS. I noticed a white Cadillac with a VA parking decal parked outside and later posted that he seemed to be present. I also took several photos of the exterior of the residence, with peeling paint and rotted woodwork and window jambs. I thought this was interesting in case Smith later talked about blight. In order to allay any worries about who was at the door, I called him and he did not pick up.
If Thurston Smith had done the same at my house, or called me, this would have been canvassing. I think of this as reverse canvassing.
Why did Smith take out an Order of Protection?
It is interesting that Thurston’s first thought, when challenged by a voter in his district, is to resort to lying and intimidation. On Sunday June 30th, Detective Raymond Jones called me saying that Smith and Lloyd Brown had complained that I had been stalking and harassing them. I have not heard more. Presumably MPD would have just as hard a time proving these allegations as Smith had in court. Hopefully Detective Jones had permission from Director Rallings to undertake an “investigation” that had obvious potential for revealing political information.
Broadcaster Thadeus Matthews claimed, in this broadcast (at hour 1 minute 20) from July 1st, and again on the 15th, that Thurston Smith had been forced to retire early from his job at the VA. According to Matthews, this was allegedly related to alleged claims that Smith had allegedly sexually harassed another employee. Matthews said he would have the victim as a guest on his broadcast. We will not reveal the name of this employee, who is still at the VA, because it is our policy not to expose the names or particulars of alleged victims of alleged sexual crime. We also can’t name our informants at the VA because the case of Sean Higgins proves that whistle blowers are savagely treated at the VA. We would also point out that Mathews is also saying that Smith does not live in the district, which we don’t believe. Matthews was shaking Smith down for “advertising” money at the time.
Asking Smith questions about the circumstances of his departure from the VA prompted him to reach out to me via Personal Message, by phone and caused him to be visibly angry at his campaign announcement event. He attempted intimidation via law enforcement and the Temporary Protection Order.
Smith clearly has no regard for constitutional values, truth or transparency. Without the material in the protection order, I would not have had much to write. How he imagined that his dubious maneuver would silence me is unclear. His lack of judgement alone disqualifies him from office.
Thurston Smith and the Police.
This is Thurston Smith’s Community Outreach Program ID. He shamelessly posted it on his Facebook page.
COP is an organization of police sympathizers and snitches. They attend special training at Memphis Police Academy, where they are trained to spy on citizens and spread police propaganda. We obtained emails to COP members around the time of the April 3rd, 2018 Rolling Block Party police riot, where police brass asked COP members to try to prevent their congregations from joining the protest, in which Manuel Duran and others were arrested by paramilitary Organized Crime Unit (OCU) police thugs.
At a time when candidates like Tami Sawyer and John Marek are calling for the firing of Mike Rallings and his replacement by a Director who understands community policing, Smith holds the view that MPD is fine as is and should be supported in their campaign of mass incarceration. Evidence to the contrary includes: The ACLU “Kendrick” court victory and court monitor, Darrius Stewart’s murder and cover-up, the attempted murder, cover-up and incarceration of Martavious Banks, the police riot after the killing of Brandon Webber, turning off of body- and dash- cams, the Graceland discrimination case, the FightFor$15 case, numerous letters from CLERB which were stonewalled by Mike Rallings, spying by police at an actual Court Monitor public meeting, Authorization of Agency and other incidents of police malpractice and brutality too numerous to mention.
Thurston Smith is a pro-police dinosaur at a time when District 7 and the entire city is crying out for police reform.
Incidentally, Smith’s posture strengthens the Caissa Dog Whistle, which supports white control of the City.
I consider it an honor to be singled out for retribution by Thurston Smith.
— concluded —