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What Happened To Fouad Kaady: This is what is wrong with the corporate media

Thursday, September 7, 2006

This is what is wrong with the corporate media

by Cat - published on

"Kaady, a suspect in three hit-and-run crashes on the day of his death, was bloody, naked, combative and unfazed by 50,000 volts from a stun gun, when he leapt atop a patrol car and threatened to kill Willard, police said. A Clackamas County grand jury later cleared both officers of wrongdoing."

This is how the corporate media apologists describe the killing. And this is all most people know. This is why it is so hard to find justice. Because these things are framed by the corporate police state, and they are skillfully spun in a manner that makes people not care. The story is everything, and if they can control the story, then they can control the outcome. That is why it is up to us to reclaim our voices and tell the real stories.

In fact, the story of the killing of Fouad Kaady is very different than the strangely dispassionate words in this blurp would suggest. For those who have forgotten, here is what really happened.

Fouad Kaady was driving down the road when he caught fire. It is the belief of many members of his family that he had been transporting gasoline in his mother's car because his truck had run out of gas. This fact is supported by witnesses who observed that the pickup truck he had been driving had apparently run out of gas in front of a local business earlier in the day, and had been towed away. Kaady was seen heading back toward home, to get his mother's car. Witnesses at the tow yard reported that the truck was out of gas. So it does, indeed, appear likely that he had been transporting gasoline, and as he was a smoker, that is probably what sparked the flames. In any event, however it happened, a fire ignited as he was driving the car. We know this, because the fire touched off several small grass fires along the road he was traveling. In addition, at least one witness reported seeing the windows of his car black with smoke as he drove past.

As he was flailing about trying to put out the fire, his car struck another car (driven by Tiffany Stenko), and then another. Moments later, with the cab of his car filled with smoke and fire, he went off the road and crashed into a small wooded area. I almost feel it too obvious to add that most people would not be able to drive much better than he did, if they were on fire. But the corporate media and the police agencies involved in his killing continue to harp on the alleged "hit and runs" that occurred as he was struggling to put out the flames. Whatever.

When the car finally stopped, Fouad got out in a daze. Witnesses note that he was burned over his entire body from the waste up, and that he was bloody and confused. He apparently suffered injuries in the crash, aside from the burns that were so severe that flesh was literally hanging from his body. He was in shock, as is normal when the body suffers this kind of trauma. And, as is often the case when people are in shock, he was confused and not acting very coherent. This is not because he was some drug-crazed weirdo as the media has repeatedly implied. It is because that is how people react when they are injured.

It is at this point that an interesting side detail emerges. Because almost every account of this event in the corporate media makes reference to a "good samaritan" who supposedly "tried to help," but was "kicked in the chest" by Fouad. This helps to build the scary image of Fouad that the media created, the one the public was expected not to empathize with. But there is a strange smell in this story, if one digs for it. Because the "good samaritan" was hiding something. He disappeared into the woods after Mr.Kaady, and when he came out his hands were covered with blood. It was his story to the police that he was bloody because Fouad kicked at him, and he grabbed Fouad's foot to protect himself. No one else saw what happened. The stench starts rising only later, if one digs a little more than anyone in the mainstream media or the police force did. Because as it happens, this "good samaritan" was one Ronald Poirier. He did not tell anyone at the scene, not even the police, that he is in fact Tiffany Stenko's uncle. Remember, she was the woman whose car was initially struck by Mr. Kaady's car. Hmmm. What are the odds that Mr. Poirier just happened to be around right then, just happened to be available to follow Mr. Kaady into the woods to "help" him like that, just happened to forget to mention to the police his relationship to the woman involved in the initial accident? Hmmmm. And yes, Ms. Stenko had a cell phone, and had contacted at least one member of her family prior to Mr. Poirier's fortuitous appearance. Seems odd that the corporate media would continue to refer to a "good samaritan" without asking any questions about this little detail. Unless their purpose is really just to make people believe that this guy was an iredeemable freak who "had it coming," the way the police want us to believe.

After this, Fouad wandered away from the scene. (This is the "run" in the "hit and run" story.) He wandered off down a dirt road through a nearby nursery, and just kept going. People began calling 911 to report him, as he was obviously not well. Injured, losing blood, confused and in shock, his behavior was indeed odd. As anyone's would be under the circumstances. And yes, he was naked. He had been dressed earlier that day, but something about being on fire can leave one looking disheveled and not as socially acceptable as people who weren't nearly burned to death a few minutes before. Go figure.

After awhile, Fouad came to a nursery, where a man named Robert Montgomery was just closing up the door of his semi truck. Mr. Montgomery saw Fouad weaving up the street toward him, and then saw him just sit down in the road, obviously very badly injured. Another witness, Elaine Thornlimb also saw this, as she had been following Fouad down the street to look after him. When he sat down, she stopped her SUV and watched. Dozens of nursery workers also saw what was happening. Moments later, a police car came careening up the road, and almost drove right past Fouad, as he sat there on the pavement. One of the witnesses waved them back, hoping the the cops were there to help this man. It's a common mistake.

And this is the part that makes me sick to my soul. Because both officers, in their own words, have admitted that they could see how badly injured Fouad was from the moment they drove up. Both admit that he was obviously very badly burned, that he had skin hanging from his body. Both say they knew he was unarmed (where ever would he have hidden any weapon?). They described him, in their own words, as being "catatonic," and "in shock." Both acknowledge that, when they approached him, he was sitting quietly in the road. He was posing no threat to anyone. And yet, rather than calling for medical help and waiting for it to arrive, they savagely attacked this poor man as he sat there more vulnerable than any human should ever be.

According to all witnesses, and even to the officers themselves, they leapt out of the car and assaulted Fouad with tasers. One witness told me that they jumped out like Starskey and Hutch, ran over to him and started barking and hollering orders, and then just started tazing him within seconds. Their story is a little different, though not much. They make it sound like they tried to reason with him for awhile first, but even they admit that he never even got up, never raised a hand, before they started searing his already seared flesh with taser barbs. The facts support the witnesses' stories more than theirs, in that the killing took place within seconds. He never made a threatening move, or even so much as a rude gesture. All he did was sit there, unable to comprehend what they were saying. And 28 seconds after they leapt out of their car, he was dead.

They say that they demanded that he lie face-down on the ground, and when he did not comply, they tased him. This "non-compliance," that is the "combative" part of the story we keep hearing. But even both police officers admit that he did not follow their orders because he was not able to. He was catatonic. He was in shock. He was confused. They admit this. And yet, they continue to claim that tasers were appropriate to use when he did not comply. Unbelievable. Even just the fact that they demanded him to lie face down in the first place is inexcusable in my opinion. Remember, this is a guy whose skin was burned almost to the bone. Didn't these people ever take a first aid class? And if not, they what business do they have answering a call like this in the first place?

They tasered him repeatedly. They never gave him a chance to comply. They demanded that he lie down, and then that he "go over there and lie down." (They were directing him to a yard on the side of the road.) Throughout the tasing, he never tried to hurt them, never resisted in any way other than just not to "go over there and lie down." And how could he have complied anyway, as they never stopped tasing him long enough to allow him to do so. The officers describe him as "convulsing" and reacting to the taser as anyone would. Yet the media story is that he was "unfazed by 50,000 volts from a stun gun." Makes him sound like a real, scary monster, doesn't it. And that's the plan.

A witness told me that he heard Fouad begging the police not to tase him. "Please don't, please don't," he repeated. But they did not stop. After being tased and tased and tased, he finally leapt up and tried to get away from the pain, but the officers followed him and tased him again. On another interesting side note, when they tased him this time, he may actually have been attempted to comply with their demands. Because he was trying to run in the direction of the yard they had just told him to "go over there" to. In any event, when they followed him and hit him again with the taser, he turned and tried to go the other way. Blocked by the police car, he climbed up onto it, still in a daze. That is when they shot him to death.

According to Robert Montgomery, who was standing right there, it was so fast he could not believe what he saw. He said there was "no possible justification" for what they did. And here, again, is an interesting detail for anyone who really cares what happened, which the corporate media obviously did not. Because in their statements, both officers repeat an intriguing mantra. Both claim, repeatedly, that right before they shot him, Fouad screamed, "I'm gonna kill you, I'm gonna kill you." Strangely, both officers repeat this in the same, dull monotone every time they say it. As if memorized from a cue card rather than experienced from real life. And strangely, nine other witnesses who were close enough to see and hear the entire incident did NOT hear Fouad make this threat. No one, other than the officers themselves, heard him threaten their lives. Hmmmm.

Why didn't the corporate media see that? It was right there in the police reports. Why did they report the threat, but not the apparent contradiction of the facts? Why did they tell us what the police claimed, without telling us that this claim was an obvious lie? These are questions we must ask ourselves.

In fact, even if he had screamed out such a threat, it would have been irrelevant. Because he was one, small man. He was naked, and burned, and in shock. He was unarmed. He had no way to hurt them. Both officers outweighed him by a substantial margin. Aside from the guns and the tasers in their hands, Bergin actually had guns stuffed in every available orafice. Shit, he even had a gun in his fat little boot. How are we to believe that they could have "feared for their lives," as they claim? How? It is simply not possible that a reasonable person would have thought it necessary to shoot and kill Mr. Kaady under these circumstances. No, such a threat would not have justified this murder, even if he had made it. But the facts show that he did not even say this. They are lying. And if they are lying, then obviously they know that there is no justification for crime they committed. Why doesn't the corporate media say so?

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