A Just Cause, advocate for criminal judicial reform, questions if there is a media blackout in the nation's 17th largest broadcast media market regarding reporting on the federal criminal case of the IRP6
Denver, Colroado (PRWEB) September 24, 2013A Just Cause has determined that there has been virtually no media attention given to the IRP Solutions case in Colorado. IRP Solutions is an African American owned company in Colorado that developed software for federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The case of the IRP6 (Kendrick Barnes, Gary L. Walker, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A. Stewart, David A. Zirpolo and David A. Banks) is currently under appeal in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The men were accused and convicted of mail and wire fraud in 2011 and have been incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp in Florence, Colorado since the summer of 2012. The six executives, who represented themselves pro se, have maintained their innocence throughout. (Appellate Case: 11-1492 Document: 01018987811 and Document: 01018987485 Date Filed: 01/22/2013)
“From the beginning there have been questions of whether there is a media blackout regarding the IRP6 case," says Sam Thurman, A Just Cause. “This is a case where six executives defended themselves (pro se) in federal court for alleged wrongdoing, and they were subsequently convicted and sentenced to seven to eleven years in federal prison and no major media picked up the story?," ponders Thurman. “A Just Cause doesn't want to publicize a story just for the sake of publicity, but we (A Just Cause) believe that it is important for cases like this to get into the main stream media because it draws attention to injustice that can occur in the judicial process," adds Thurman.
Court records show that lawyers for A Just Cause filed suit in July 2013 in District Court for the 2nd Judicial District, Denver County, Denver, Colorado against federal court reporter Darlene M. Martinez for breach of contract claiming that Darlene Martinez did not provide the entire trial proceedings of the IRP Solutions/IRP6 federal case after entering into a contract with A Just Cause to provide stenography services for the court transcripts. (District Court, 2nd Judicial District, Denver County, Case 2013CV033380, Div 409, Filing ID 6EEE4CA4A567C, Doc ID 8B0EE416E3F64, Filed July 31, 2013, Accepted August 1, 2013 and United States v. Banks, et al., case number 09CR266).
Appellant documents show that one of the keys points under appeal by the IRP6 is a claim of Fifth Amendment violation and that the transcript related to that violation is missing. (Appellate Case: 11-1492 Document: 01018987811 and Document: 01018987485 Date Filed: 01/22/2013)
“This case has several points that should motivate the court of public opinion to act”, says Thurman. “The situation related to the missing transcript alone is enough to cause the public to be outraged," adds Thurman.
According to a study by Pew Research Center (Center for the People and the Press) released in August 2013, when researchers asked about the independence of news organizations, “...75% (of respondents) say that they (news organizations) are influenced by powerful people and organizations.” (http://www.people-press.org/2013/08/08/amid-criticism-support-for-medias-watchdog-role-stands-out/). Pew also reports that regarding the press's news judgement, respondents to the research say, “In determining what news is fit to report on...news organizations focus on unimportant stories (65%) rather than on important ones (28%). (http://www.people-press.org/2013/08/08/amid-criticism-support-for-medias-watchdog-role-stands-out/).
“When A Just Cause says there is a suspected blackout in Denver, those are not baseless accusations," says Thurman. “The last time any major media in Denver gave coverage to this story was in the summer of 2010 when the Denver Post ran a small piece about the case. According to an anonymous source, major parts of the 2010 story had been edited out," adds Thurman. “The IRP6 case has grown significantly since 2010 and we believe that court documents prove that it is a major story where the investigation, the prosecution, the conviction and the sentencing are filled with serious questionable activities," asserts Thurman.
“Where the main stream media has lacked, the social media community, including blogtalk radio, have kicked in in a major way,” says Ethel Lopez, A Just Cause. “A Just Cause has done several blogtalk radio interviews over the past several weeks and time after time the question is asked, 'With a story of this magnitude, why hasn't the national media carried this story," explains Lopez. “Earlier this year A Just Cause held a protest march in front of Senator Michael Bennet's (D-Colorado) office in Denver. We had over 100 people marching, and there are two major network affiliate stations right around the corner, but none of the Denver broadcast stations covered the story”, emphasizes Lopez. "A story with six pro se defendants in a federal trial involving major agencies of the government like the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI and major media doesn't cover it... that is unbelievable," exclaims Lopez.
"The CBS affiliate in Colorado Springs informed one of our Atlanta-based contributing writers (Sept 2013) that they didn't have the resources to cover the IRP6 story," adds Lopez. The website archive for KKTV-11 shows no record of coverage of the IRP Solutions case. http://www.kktv.com/searchresults?searchKeywords=IRP%20solutions&group1=word&time=3000&page=4
“When you look at recent stories of media cover-ups and blackouts like the story in Reuters about the DEA Secret Operations Division (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/05/us-dea-sod-idUSBRE97409R20130805) and Congressman Blackburn and Congressman Scalise alleging a media cover-up in the Gosnell Planned Parenthood case (http://blackburn.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=329606), why isn't it reasonable to think that there is a cover-up in the IRP6 case? It happens in other cases and everything in this situation points to that as being the case," says Thurman.
“What troubles me about this situation is the IRP6 are all patriotic men. They were doing something to help their country in the fight against terror attacks (developed Case Investigative Life Cycle software) and the very people that they were helping, criminalized what should have been a civil matter. The situation is compounded by the mainstream media not doing due diligence to raise awareness of this terrible situation," says Thurman. “This story must be told, but even more than that, the IRP6 case should be investigated and the men released from prison, at least until an investigation can be completed," concludes Thurman.
According to Nielsen's 2011-2012 Local Television Market Universe Estimates, Denver Colorado is the 17th largest market (out of 210 media markets) in the United States. http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/us/en/public%20factsheets/tv/nielsen-2012-local-DMA-TV-penetration.pdf
For additional documents about the IRP6 case go to http://www.freetheirp6.org or http://www.prweb.com/search.aspx?search-releases=irp+6&hitsPerPage=20&x=15&y=14
The case of IRP Solutions (IRP6) is currently under appeal (US District Court for the District of Colorado, Honorable Christine M. Arguello, D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA; Case Nos: NO. 11-1487, Case Nos. 11-1488, 11-1489, 11-1490, 11-1491 and 11-1492). For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go to http://www.freetheirp6.org Appellant Court panel includes the Honorable Senior Judge Bobby R. Baldock, Honorable Judge Harris L. Hartz, and Honorable Judge Jerome A. Holmes