Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Navy Seal Tellng the Truth? Carl Higbie



Enemies, Foreign and Domestic: A SEAL’s Story is a new book by former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie. Higbie was on the Navy SEAL assault team that in the summer of 2007 captured the most wanted man in the Middle East (apart from Osama bin Laden) – Ahmed Hashim Abd Al-Isawi, known as the Butcher of Fallujah. But afterward, Higbie and others in his unit were charged with prisoner abuse when Al-Isawi alleged that they had bloodied his lip.

Suddenly, the “mission accomplished” became a much more challenging ordeal as Higbie et al were threatened with courts-martial over supposedly roughing up a ruthless terrorist. When he went public with his account of what happened, the Navy pushed back hard to save face and protect careers. But Higbie pushed back harder.

Higbie, also the author of Battle on the Home Front: A Navy SEAL’s Mission to Save the American Dream, became a SEAL in 2003 and deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is now a political commentator in national media including the Fox News Channel, Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post, The Daily Caller, and Breibart. He graciously agreed to answer a few questions for FrontPage Mag about his lates book, Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.

Mark Tapson:         About the mission to capture and extract this high-value target, the Butcher of Fallujah. You and your unit accomplished the mission, handed him over, and all seemed good – but then what happened afterward? 

Better would have been to allow the subject to begin the answer where he chooses which is always critical.  It reveals priority.  The IR had it being after the hand over.  This presupposes no prisoner abuse took place and effectively removes the potential for analysis of the time period that is either extremely sensitive (possible guilt) or would move quickly without sensitivity (possible innocence) for the purposes of analysis.  This is another example of why Analytical Interviewing is vital for anyone seeking answers; be it a journalist, HR, or investigator.  

Carl Higbie: After turning over custody to the Master at Arms (MP), the MP admittedly left his post. 

This is reported as fact; no sensitivity associated.  This does not mean that it happened, but it does mean the subject believes it to be true.  Deception is an act of the will that is deliberate.  This intention is what causes the 'pause' of transmission that triggers stress, and can be discerned in a variety of ways, including skipping over time.  

During this time the prisoner bit his lip (as testified by an oral surgeon) and spit blood on his clothing. Out of fear for his own career, the MP concocted a story that he saw many of us abuse the prisoner. This story was fabricated, as was apparent from his numerous changes in his official statement.

Note the consistent past tense language. 
Note the closeness of the account. 
Note that the account is called "a story", which is followed up with consistent language in "this story." 

MT:     The accusation should have been cleared up quickly, but instead, the Navy did its best to break you and the other suspects down and get confessions out of you. Tell us what happened.

CH:     Initially we were investigated by NCIS and their investigation made the recommendation to not charge us. It was our Commanding officer along with General Cleveland that decided to proceed despite the facts. Because of the lack of evidence, they wanted to proceed “general’s mast” where there is no need for evidence and a punishment can be issued arbitrarily. They were doing to his to save face and “make an example” out of us.
We all requested a courts-martial so we would have a fair trial and be able to present evidence in our favor. The command tried to talk us out of this because they knew they would lose. They separated us and threatened us with all kinds of punishments, but we held strong and forced the courts-martial.

The need to explain the reason "why" decisions were made is presupposed and does not represent hyper sensitivity.  It is expected.  
Note consistent pronoun and verb tense.  
Note the lack of qualifiers.  
Note "we held strong" suggests that the resistance was not easy, and may even had been compromised by one (or some) seals wishing to end the ordeal.  

MT:     Why do you think this guy made such a serious accusation about some of his fellow soldiers, and why do you think the higher-ups weren’t more supportive of the accused, especially considering that the so-called victim was a terrorist?

Compound questions should be avoided.  

CH:     The higher-ups were afraid of simple allegations, how that would affect their careers. They lost sight of the mission and their duty to their men. They put politically correct public image in front of their oath. They had us pegged for guilty from day one despite all  the evidence. So much for “innocent until proven guilty.”

When discussing motive, the 'why' is essential: 

MT:     What’s your opinion of the Rules of Engagement our warriors were bound by which were so strict that merely bloodying a terrorist’s nose could get you court-martialed? Do you think those ROE are proper or are they hindering our men in the field and perhaps even endangering them?

Both compound questions and a statement.  He has given the subject a ready made excuse: 

CH:     Rules of engagement are different from guidelines for treating prisoners.

The subject refuses the ready made excuse.  The Rules of Engagement and how a prisoner may have been treated are two different issues.  


 I think the Rules of Engagement are atrocious.

This is an important sentence.  Thus far, he has spoken for them all; consistently.  Now, with the emergence of the pronoun "I" he gives personal opinion with "I think" 

Note the present tense verb as important, as it indicates that this is ongoing to the time of this interview.  We look now for this to continue and for universal application (2nd person)


 You cannot have one side playing by a set of rules that does not apply to the other side. War is not a moral endeavor, it is people killing each other; therefore you must be willing to be as ruthless as your enemy.

Note universal 2nd person pronoun usage is appropriate and consistent


As for prisoner handling, we should never have stood any discipline after NCIS cleared us and recommended not going forward. This is what investigations are for and they should not be overstepped by a commander who has no knowledge of the situation. Moreover, who cares if a terrorist that we had legal authority to kill had a bloody lip?

Note the lack of accusation specifics here.  Keep this in mind as the interview progresses, considering the Commander in Chief, Barak Obama, and the following:

1.  Obama's refusals to call Islamic terrorism "Islamic"
2.  The cleansing of the training manuals according to the 'recommendations' of the Muslim brotherhood
3.  The freeing of prisoners 
4.  The exchange of prisoners
5.  The denial of confessed motives
6.  The arming of Iran and the deceit that was used to influence the American public 
7.  The importation of Islamic peoples into the nation
8.  The setting of imans teaching Islam in federal prisons
9.  The direct attacks on Christian chaplains 

What is the relationship between the subject (Navy SEAL) and his commander in chief? (consider this as current to the date of the interview for proper context) 

MT:     After you were eventually cleared, you wrote a book – as a private citizen, not as a SEAL – called Battle on the Homefront based on your experiences, in which you complained about various ways in which Americans are failing to live up to our country’s own exceptionalism. But the Navy brass gave your manuscript the runaround and did their best to suppress publication. Why do you believe they did that, particularly since many of them privately agreed with what you wrote?

CH:     I spent almost two years, 24 times the length of time the DOD has allowed by their own standards for the review. At every corner, they stonewalled me, refusing even to conduct a review. I had been consulting an attorney throughout the process who was dumbfounded, as we had continuously jumped through hoops to accommodate their ever-changing requirements.

Consistency noted.  

this provides an excellent opportunity for a lesson:

"I consulted an attorney" versus "I had consulted an attorney" versus "I had been consulting an attorney" in Statement Analysis. 

This brief change goes against the "Law of Economy" where the shortest sentence is best and must represent a change in reality. 

"I studied law" versus "I had studied law" shows a change in the past tense usage that represents time. 

In criminal cases, this is often the 'missing' moment in time where a violent act may have occurred.  

He said, in less than a micro second of time, "had been" as additional language.  This takes a specific past tense reference in time, and 'spreads it out' over time. 

Here, in context, it is explained by the subject, himself.  Often, this is not the case. 

This is a very strong signal that the subject is telling the truth in this point.  He said, "throughout the process", which limits time, but to no specific definitive point in time. 

It is consistent with "had been" as an 'imperfect' past tense reference.  


The book was controversial and no one wanted to review it because they were concerned about how it would affect their careers if they were the ones with the approval stamp on it. The military spent more resources trying to bury it than it would have taken to conduct the review. After a review from NCIS on security, and under advice from my attorney, we published without command approval since they had failed to comply with their own rules.

A frightening point where the subject 'broke' the rules with the need to 

a.  bring his attorney into the pronoun "we" regarding publishing
b.  the need to explain why it was published without approval:  "since they had failed"

Note "had failed" and not "failed" (see above) uses this as a spreading over time. 

This suggests:

The subject and/or attorney and/or publishers likely debated various dates to "well, just go ahead and publish" with some veto, argument, etc, pushing it off until "we" were comfortable that the approval was well past a deadline.  

MT:     Since leaving the Navy, you’ve pursued a path as a political commentator in the media. Is that another way you feel you can best serve your country? Do you have political ambitions in the future as well? Tell us about what you’re doing to help reinvigorate the American Dream.

3 questions

The question "why" is met with "because"; it is not sensitive. 



CH:     I have pursued the political route because I believe that to be the root of the problem today. I am unsure whether I will run again but I am heavily involved with this presidential race and many other races as well. If we want to fix this nation we have to start at the top.


Question:  What is missing from the interview?

Answer: Accusing a specific leader. 

Note that even in the political context, there is the absence of  blaming the Commander in Chief. 

Analysis Conclusion:

Although the IR was favorable and conducted a poor interview, the answers given are reliable.  

Carl Higbie has told the truth about the process and avoided blaming the Commander in Chief which is likely something very important to him and to Navy SEALs and other dedicated military professionals.  

It suggests honor and that the book is not likely to have blame shifting, responsibility shifting or other such divergence from "what happened", as an account.  

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Strength of Humility



Weekly, we receive requests for assistance from detectives from around the country.  It can be a simple statement for analysis, or an entire case.  The requests come either from investigators, with their superior's approval, or it is from the superiors, themselves.  They want answers and they want justice.  They are servants to a greater cause. 

It is that simple.  

 It reminds me of a principle:

The more confident the investigator, the more willing to seek assistance.  


This is found in a culture of analysis.  

Analysts routinely seek 2nd and 3rd opinions of their work.  By course, some will not submit analysis without at least one other professional's review.  

The impact is two fold:

1.  The work is checked
2.  More yield is received.  


Professional and ongoing training is indispensable. 

See www.hyattanalysis.com for opportunities.  

It is the nature of the work that an analyst will 'pick up the scent' of deception and follow that scent to completion.  In this trail, collateral information is sometimes underestimated or even missed, as 'the big picture' or conclusion comes into focus.  

Highlighted on TV, but perhaps with accuracy, local investigators show resentment when a federal investigator shows up.  This bristling is 'territorial' and counter productive to the cause of justice, but it also speaks to the lack of confidence one has.  

Analysis, by nature of its work, has its most impressive results when the disciplinary restraints of a team are applied.  

The greater the confidence, the more open the desire for help.  

Some embrace humility as they seek a higher purpose; justice, truth, and getting the right answers. 

Others have humility forced upon them by nature itself, and can show itself in error. 

It is not surprising to see a good number of analysts across the country maintain a 100% accuracy rate.  

There is no match for this.  

Their strength is in their humility.  

Friday, May 27, 2016

David Shoar Statement: Michelle O'Connell

Sheriff Shoar's statement on release of information on Michelle O'Connell.

The analysis of Jeremy Banks' 911 call indicates deception by Banks in the death of Michelle O'Connell.  

It is not difficult to discern. 

The family of Michelle O'Connell exhumed her body disagreeing with the DA's findings.  

Elected official, Sheriff David Shoar issued a public statement about the family's position. This, too, stands the same analysis:  expected versus unexpected. 

What is expected?

A respectful disagreement with the family and a statement showing that the subject knows Jeremy Banks did not kill Michelle O'Connell, while remaining sympathetic with a grieving family.  As an elected official, we can expect a personal 'plug' or political positive, to be made for re election.  This is a general expectation we consider before reading the statement. 

Please note:  most readers are familiar with some of the basics of Statement Analysis.  For example, in "Analytical Interviewing", we interview based upon the analysis by asking legally sound open ended questions.  We avoid leading questions and compound questions.   We let the subject speak for himself.  


Analysis Question:  What does David Shoar believe about Jeremy Banks?

Does he assert strong belief that Shoar did not kill Michelle O'Donnell?
Does he indicate doubt?
Does he show belief that Shoar may have killed Michelle O'Donnell?

Is this a typical 'blue wall' of defense of a law enforcement official?  


Also listen to a portion of the interview done.  Note compound and leading questions and the need for training:  NY Times

A news release from Sheriff David Shoar --


On January 12th, 2016 media reports circulated that the body of Michelle O’Connell was removed from her place of rest by certain members of her family.  At the time, no one was certain exactly why this was done but the speculation was that a paid expert witness would be hired by these family members to produce a report that of course would support their belief about the case. 

The first thing we notice is the additional language.  "Additional language" is that in which, if removed, allows for a complete sentence to still exist.  It takes an extra effort to add in words, and these additional and unnecessary words become vital sources of information in analysis.  

The subject targets not the family of Michelle O'Connell, but "certain" members of the family.  This may suggest a personal emotion regarding specific members of the victim's family.  We will have to wait to see if the statement affirms a personal negativity, negates it, or does not address it (neutral), as we progress through the statement.  

"At the time, no one was certain exactly..."

Here we have a specific time frame in which "no one was certain"; with "no one" a label of nondescript.  It is impossible to know this, therefore, "no one" must refer to specific people.  It is to go to each "one" and find "none" to know "exactly": 

"was certain exactly


This shows that many were "certain" but their certainty may not have been "exact."  This further weakens the assertion. 


"but the speculation was..." is passive voice. This is to conceal responsibility of knowledge.  This suggest much discussion and knowledge by very specific individuals.  


"a paid expert witness would be hired"


a.  Note both "paid" and "hired is used here.   When one is "hired", one is "paid", with the additional language (redundant) being "unnecessary" in analysis.  


Principle:  Unnecessary language is very important and here we have a weak "need to persuade" rather than report honestly. Expert witnesses that are paid are used in both defense and prosecution.  The "law of economy" says that the shortest sentence is best and additional language takes an additional effort, and the information from the "unnecessary" word is often vital.  


b.  "Of course" means to accept without question.  


Yet, there is much to be questioned in which the subject does not wish to allow.  This is another weak statement.  We believe what one tells us unless we have reason not to.  We must, however, hear the person to tell us the information and do not accept information that is not stated.  

The statement shows that the source of the information needs to be concealed and that specific people knew, though without "certainty" of the family's plans to exhume the remains of Michelle O'Connell.  


The subject is very concerned with tainting a testimony in the eyes of the public before testimony is given.  This is akin to ignoring a message but attacking the messenger.  


It's need is concerning.  We seek to learn if this continues.  



 Today we learn that this speculation was accurate.  The report of the paid expert was delivered by a resident of Clay County who has a “private investigators” license with no connection to any official entity including law enforcement. 

Note that which was known, though without "certainty", with the source concealed, is called "speculation."

Note next the repetition of paying an expert with "paid expert" as sensitive to the subject. 

Principle:  Social Introductions reveal the quality of a relationship.  We look for 3 elements:
a.  pronoun giving ownership
b.  title
c.  name

"My supervisor, John, said..." is an example of a complete social introduction, and reveals a good relationship.  

In a more distant context, "a citizen named John" would also be acceptable

"My ex husband John" is indicative of a good working relationship in spite of divorce. 

"The ex said..." is to avoid the possessive pronoun, title (husband) and name, and shows a very poor relationship.  

When no relationship is expected, we can see quality of thought, such as respect, as well as disrespect, or even contempt.  

Note "a resident" is now introduced, without name, which is an incomplete social introduction indicating that the subject (writer) has a 'bad relationship' or ill will towards him.  Note that it is unlikely that no name is given due to lack of knowledge:  the citizen's license is reviewed. 

The omission of the private investigator's name, being an incomplete social introduction, is an intended insult.  The "bad relationship" may not be a relationship, but a specific view point.  

The need to insult, via withholding the name, suggests weakness in position.  We must see if the "shoot the messenger" theme continues.  

Note next that "private investigator" is put in quotes, as to call the attention of that 'which is not real' to the subject.  This is the second insult of the PI.  

Then note that the need to insult the licensing procedure:  the entity that issues the license is not associated with any "official" entity (state?) nor with  law enforcement.  The attempt to smear (insult) the PI before any information is revealed on findings has been compounded.  

The need to insult rather than answer is acute.  


 It is critically important to note that no person officially associated with a prosecutor’s office or law enforcement agency was in any way involved including when she was removed from her place of rest. 

"Importance" is now made sensitive by the word "critically."

He states that this is "critically important" that neither he, nor other law enforcement (including prosectors) were consulted as "critically important" but does not tell us why this is critically important.  

This further weakens the statement.  


 Why did these certain family members not request a judge to order a proper and officially sanctioned exhumation? 

Here we have a question in an open statement.  He does not ask, "Why did the family...?" but "these" and "certain family members" show a specific target of the sentence.  The question given, without answer, indicates an increase of emotion for the subject.  

Since it is that law enforcement, which includes the prosecutor's office, cleared Banks in the death of Michelle O'Connell, the subject knows the answer to the question which means the question, itself, is to be considered "unnecessary", making it, again, very important to the analysis.  The need to cause the public to "join in" with the question is another element of weakness in a statement that has repeated areas of sensitivity and weakness. 

With the phrase "these certain" family members, the element of emotion is present.  We now expect the subject to strongly assert the answer for himself:  

 We suspect the answer is that they would not have met the threshold for a judge to order one.  

Note the use of "we" rather than "I."

Note also that the topic of exhumation is now brought to question; not the results, nor testimony, but the exhumation itself. 

If a family can legally exhume a loved one, why the need to go through a judge with the additional labor?   

This, too, is an attempt to discredit "these", specific family members as if what they have done is "lawless."

This is another "need to persuade" rather than report truthfully and further undermines the statement.  


Most importantly, there have been three separate officially sanctioned medical examiners review this case as well as two officially sanctioned special prosecutors (Jeff Ashton and Brad King) appointed by the Governor, all have determined there is NO evidence present to indicate anything other than that Michelle died by her own hand.  

"Most importantly" shows the increase of emotion here.  Note that the medical examiners are "officially sanctioned" medical examiners.  This is unnecessary language and is used to insult a medical examiner who may not be "officially sanctioned" (by whom, it is not given), which seeks to 

insult the medical examiner's findings before they are made.  

Please note the findings of special prosecutors who are given full names:  "NO evidence present" with the emphasis on "NO" (weakness noted) but the word "present" as unnecessary.

Being unnecessary means the subject has added it for support for his assertion.  This is a signal of weakness, but in using additional language, we are given additional information. 

"present" is to appear, or to show up.  

He could have written, "no evidence to show..." but he opted for "NO" (emphatic capitalization) and the evidence that was "present" is added.

This suggests that the subject may know or believe that evidence exists to the contrary that was not present.  

It also does not make a strong statement (in the wording) that "Michelle O'Connell committed suicide."

Look at the language: 


there is NO evidence present to indicate anything other than that Michelle died by her own hand.


compare it to: 


"they found that Michelle committed suicide." 


He does not assert that Michelle committed suicide but uses the lengthy sentence revealing that there was NO (in the negative) evidence that was there, or present, to indicate this, and that instead of stating she committed suicide, his focus is upon only the evidence present.  


The analyst must now consider if the subject, himself, believes that Michelle committed suicide. 


"These certain family members" shows, technically, an "incomplete social introduction", or avoidance of their names.  This suggests personal emotion, perhaps animosity, from the subject himself.  "These" indicates closeness to him, and "certain" seeks to separate "these" from others in the family.  He does not give the victim's family, in any account (suicide or murder) the norm and respectful status of


"the victim's family" or "the family."


He has thus far ridiculed the means, and not the end.  The attack of the means (not the findings) and the use of ridicule raises the level of insecurity in the findings of the special prosecutors, which is supported by the language of "by her own hand..." which should be examined and considered, separate from "suicide."


Law enforcement reports "suicide."  This is done regularly. 


To state that "Michelle died by her own hand" is to blame the suicide victim; something that is unnecessary. 


By virtue of suicide, the victim is the one responsible.  There is no need to say "she killed herself by suicide."


To state that "Michelle died by her own hand" is to blame the victim for that which she was already responsible for. 


This is, in Statement Analysis 101, "unnecessary language" which is 'to be deemed doubly important.'


Doubly important to whom?


Doubly important to the subject and subsequently, to the analyst.  


It is personal. 


He does it by identifying the victim by her first name, and it is to literally use a body part ("hand") belonging to the victim.


The subject has a need to blame the victim for something of which there is no need to assign responsibility by definition. 


This is to tell us that the subject has a need to persuade his audience, and perhaps, himself, that Michelle O'Connell committed suicide.    



The last special prosecutor went so far as to write that he was, “thankful it was NOT a homicide because had it been, it could never have been prosecuted due to the actions of the state agent who at one time was involved in this case.”  

Since it was "written", does the last special prosecutor (unnamed here) have in his final report the word "not" in all capitals?  

The information presented today is nothing new and all was reviewed during the initial autopsy.

This is the first mention of "information" and he does not offer refutation of anything; only using the dismissive "nothing new" and that it was "all" reviewed.  


How personal is this to the subject?



Molesting Michelle from her place of rest using some freelance type approach is beyond unconventional, it was reprehensible.


This is very concerning language.  


The exhumation is now labeled a "molestation."  It would be interesting to learn if the subject has ever been involved in an exhumation before, and if so, was it a "molestation."


The use of this word, in such a weakened assertion and personal attack is unexpected, unusual, and concerning.  


Note that exhumations are done 'conventionally' that is, through court order forcing the state to pay for its cost rather than fall upon the burden of the family. This is the 'conventional' ("normal" in analysis) means to an end. 


Here he calls the family's personal initiative "reprehensible."


This is to affirm the personal animosity noted above.  The subject, himself, would have to tell us why the removal of a lifeless corpse is "molestation" and why not going "normal" routine is "reprehensible."


This is the weighted personal contempt for the family.  


A person with a broken arm does not get upset nor defensive seeing someone with a fake cast on his arm.  


The subject has an intense need to personally punish the family members in this case.  He does not show confidence in the outcome of their investigation, nor does he show confidence in the work of prosectors.  


The analyst should at this point question if the subject knows or possesses information contrary to the official or "conventional" findings.  


He has ridiculed specific members of the family, but with "reprehensible", he has publicly condemned them for doubting or questioning the finding.  


He has specified and ridiculed specific members, and now he reveals 'their motive' for what they are doing.  They are not going through personal expensive (emotionally and financially), as he asserts to know their motive:  



The primary advisers to the few family members who will go to any lengths to maintain their moment in the spotlight consist of the private investigator, a former St. Johns County Deputy Sheriff who was fired for ethical misconduct and who is now a candidate for political office.  

They are "reprehensible" because they are going through all of this just to seek public fame, according to the statement.  This explains his use of "reprehensible."


How he asserts that he knows their motive is not revealed.  


He now takes to insult the private investigator "who was fired for ethical misconduct" and accuses the connection of "moment in the spotlight" with "political office."


He does not tell us what the ethical misconduct was, but we note the need to impugn the reputation of the PI, rather than refute the assertions made that Jeremy Banks killed Michelle O'Connell. 


Simplest is to issue a reliable denial.  


We see this in the language of defense attorneys.  They silence their clients but then reveal to us their own personal belief in their client's guilt or innocence.  On the few occasions where the reliable denial is issued, we have seen vindication.  



Interestingly, this same individual has been hinting at some recent political events that there was some “big news” coming regarding the O’Connell case.  Coincidently, the last time Michelle’s sister was interviewed on local television she actually told the reporter that this case is about, “politics”.  

The 'incomplete social introduction' in Statement Analysis shows 'bad relationship' and where no actual relationship exists, we are able to judge the emotional attitude the subject has towards the one introduced.  Here, he calls her "this same individual" ("individual" seeks to separate her from others in the family, and is consistent with "these" and "certain" used above; that is, to isolate her, as alone in what she is doing).

He then calls her "Michelle's sister" ; 


He then reuses "politics" without explanation.  It may be true that "politics" is part of the equation, but if so, why the need to present it without explanation is not known.  


"Politics" is a word repeated by the subject; making it important to him. 

Please note that David Shoar announced that he would be running for re-election in 2016.  

Though the reporter never followed up on her comment, as the political season evolves it has become very clear what she meant. And finally a career “drug” investigator and current state agent who was recently reprimanded for conducting a “substandard” investigation into the death of Michelle O’Connell.

Note the need to ridicule using quotation marks.  

A great question for the public and media to ask would be, why hasn’t the family filed suit against the person they think was culpable in Michelle’s death?  The answer is probably the same as why they did not seek an official exhumation, because there is no Probable Cause to indicate Michelle died by anything other than her own hand. 

He repeats the same victim blaming from above.  This question ultimately is answered.  

 Of vital importance that most folks do not understand is that the person that certain members of the family think is culpable in Michelle’s death, is one of only two people (along with Michelle’s brother Scott) who HAS filed a civil suit in relation to this case (against FDLE and Agent Rodgers).  People who are culpable or have committed crimes do not file civil suits because when they do, they can longer shield themselves behind the Fifth Amendment and a civil suit puts everything under a microscope.   

Note:  See Lance Armstrong  


Fortunately, the civil suit filed by Michelle’s brother Scott and Jeremy Banks is well under way and hopefully there should be closure within the next year.  I have always taken the position that if a jury ever gets to hear what Scott and Jeremy had to endure because of the conduct of a few people with personal agendas, it would shock their consciences and they would rule in favor of both Scott and Jeremy, I still maintain that position.  

This analyst is shocked at the 911 call made by Banks, and shocked that an elected sheriff would make such a weak, personally embittered statement using ridicule rather than reason.  


The record clearly shows that we have always held employees accountable at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office when they violate our policies or engage in criminal conduct.  In the past, I have had to discipline and even arrest employees for misconduct.  If, however, an employee is unfairly and maliciously targeted by external forces they will have no stronger advocate than myself.  This case is an example of the latter and not the former.       

The use of the pronoun "I" indicates an increase in importance.  This is to say that it is important that the public know "I have..." in several instances.  This is to defend his political record for the purpose of re election. 

Analysis Conclusion:

The subject does not possess confidence that Jeremy Banks did not kill Michelle O'Connell. 

He has a need to "shoot the messengers" rather than answer the message and while decrying "politics" he reveals his own political agenda.  

He holds both the victim and her family in personal contempt.  

Most telling is his need to report that suicide was by the victim's own hand.  This is to blame the victim in redundancy.  

He shows deep animosity towards the family and a need to persuade the public of his own record.  He offers no strong defense for Banks.  

It is likely that he has been made aware of reports of domestic violence and if he has had any training in analysis, he knows the 911 call reveals the status of guilty caller in a domestic homicide.  

Please note:  This public statement is not a defense of Jeremy Banks.  This is a statement made by a politician and not a cop.  This is not a blue wall of protection that law enforcement sometimes needs.  

This is a self-driven and self motivated statement in defense of early errors done in the investigation.   Note the word "employee" is how he views police and law enforcement;

not as a brother.  

They are not his brothers and he is not one of theirs.  This is to defend error, for the purpose of politics, which is why politics is part of this statement.  

His contempt for the family, and his use of "molest" show pragmatism, though there are other concerns regarding the choice of wording beyond the scope of the analysis question:

Does he have doubts about Jeremy Banks' innocence?

Yes, he does.  

He has a need to attack others, rather than defend Banks.  He avoids defending Banks, using arbitrary arguments, including the civil law suit. 

The final chapter tells the reader that this is about him and his political career, justice be damned.  The ego-centric exploitation for political purpose is readily seen in his victim blaming and condemnation of the family as "reprehensible."  

In employing the additional wording, in each paragraph, he first undermines, and then refutes his own credibility.  

It is not a defense of law enforcement.  

It is a defense of himself, for the purpose of election.  It is not loyalty to law enforcement; and it is not loyalty to truth, or the citizens.  He could have disagreed with the family politely and objectively.  Instead, he resorts to ridicule and targeting the messengers while avoiding the message. 

He does not state plainly his belief about Banks.  

This statement is a political attack statement and one void of ethics that respected law enforcement officials follow, hold to, and believe in.  

He smears rather than report.  

If a court had ordered Michelle's exhumation, would that have been "molestation"?

When a body is exhumed, is that "molestation"?

Has he ever been involved in exhumation of remains for the purpose of evidence seeking, and if so, is he "reprehensible" for doing so?

What of his prosecutors?

Are they guilty of molesting corpses any time they have had bodies exhumed?

It is likely that rank and file law enforcement are well familiar with his view point of them being his "employees", rather than his brothers in arms.  

It is likely that internal disagreement has been strong in this case, as most seek truth and justice, over all else.  

David Shoar shows a lack of familiarity with the language of humility, and shows little empathy for the family of the victim.  Spurious arguments and taunting insults are not the language of a professional.