The original Metropolitan Police Department press release in the Seth Rich murder case contradicts early mainstream news reports on a key detail: how did police officers find out about the shooting?
In the press release, the Department said that officers “heard gunshots.” But the news reports, and the Department’s current version of the story, claim that officers were alerted to the gunshots by a digital surveillance system, and did not actually hear the gunshots themselves. This is especially important because there are no eyewitnesses in the case. Why did the Police Department change its story?
Did the officers actually hear the gunshots or not?
Slain 27-year old Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich died from two gunshot wounds in the back on Sunday July 10, 2016, four days after Attorney General Loretta Lynch closed the Hillary Clinton email investigation and twelve days before WikiLeaks published internal DNC emails that damaged the Clinton campaign. WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange have always suggested that Rich was the source of the leaks, which Democratic lawmakers have been blaming on a supposed Russian hack. A private investigator employed by Rich’s family confirms the existence of evidence showing that Rich was in communication with WikiLeaks before he died.
There is a major discrepancy between the Metropolitan Police Department press release and the first wave of mainstream news articles about the case.
Police reported that they “heard gunshots” while patrolling the area. But the mainstream news claimed that police found out about the shooting from their ShotSpotter system, which tracks the sound of gunshots via hidden recording technology around the city then sends the location of the gunshots to police digitally.
Here’s the Metropolitian Police Department press release from Monday July 11 (emphasis added):
“Homicide: 2100 Block of Flagler Place, Northwest…Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred in the 2100 block of Flagler Place, Northwest on Sunday, July 10, 2016. At approximately 4:19 am, members of the Fifth District were patrolling the area when they heard gunshots. Upon arrival on the scene, members located an adult male victim conscious and breathing, and suffering from gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to an area hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.
The decedent has been identified as 27-year-old Seth Conrad Rich, of Northwest, DC.
The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia….”
But here’s how the New York Daily News described it at 5:40 PM on Monday July 11:
“Joel Rich, the victim’s father, told the Washington Post that police suggested the attack may have resulted from a robbery gone awry. Although nothing was stolen from the victim, Rich believes his son engaged his assailants before he was killed. Police officers patrolling the area responded to the gun shots around 4:20 a.m. using the ShotSpotter system to find the location of the shooting. Rich was taken to a local hospital where he died a short time later.”
Now here’s the Washington Post’s July 11 report (emphasis added): “Early Sunday morning, the 27-year-old was shot to death in a crime that has shaken not only his family, colleagues and friends, but also many in his Bloomingdale neighborhood of Northwest. Police said they have no suspects, witnesses or motive, though they are looking at whether Rich could have been slain in an attempted robbery.
Rich was found shot several times, at least once in the back, about 4:20 a.m., after police were alerted by sensors that detect the sound of gunfire. ShotSpotter sensors drew officers to Flagler Place and W Street, a block from a townhouse Rich moved into two years ago with several roommates.”
This is a clear contradiction. The police said they “heard” the shots at 4:19. But the papers reported that they learned about the shooting from ShotSpotter alerts, which take 30 to 45 seconds to transmit, at 4:20.
Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman told Big League Politics that officers learned about the shooting “Through ShotSpotter technology,” pointing to a public incident report that lists “R-1 CIC ShotSpotter” as the reporting person at 4:20. Presented with the original Department press release, which said that officers “heard gunshots,” Bilal did not immediately have an explanation.
Here is how ShotSpotter works, according to a company video. The information that gets sent to police is presented, in this video, as visual information, not audio information.
Married Lincoln Project Co-Founder John Weaver Accused of Grooming Young Men, Offering Jobs for Sex
Well this isn’t a good look.
John Weaver, political consultant and co-founder of The Lincoln Project, has been accused of being a sexual predator who targeted young men.
Conservative author and political commentator Ryan Girdusky piqued curiosity and set off widespread speculation after tweeting late Saturday afternoon that “one of the founding members of the Lincoln Project [offered] jobs to young men in exchange for sex,” adding that “his wife is probably interested” to hear about the allegations.
Maybe I should start talking about one of the founding members of the Lincoln Project offering jobs to young men in exchange for sex… his wife is probably interested https://t.co/vAtUS9aPPl
— Ryan James Girdusky (@RyanGirdusky) January 9, 2021
Although Girdusky did not post screenshots of Weaver’s predatory actions himself, saying he “worked with journalists and reached out to victims asking for them to speak up because it was their story, not mine,” several others spoke up about what they experienced and heard.
Twitter user @JoshPri68522288 was one of the first to speak up, tweeting that “I know who did it, because they did it to me. It was John Weaver.”
@_liberalproject also said that “Weaver used to follow me when I used my real name on here. Out of the blue he DM’d being pushy with personal questions and trying to flirt with me. After I didn’t go along with it, he unfollowed me and never DM’d me since.”
(Screenshots courtesy of @lib_crusher.)
News of the impending allegations was also retweeted by Donald Trump Jr.
The longest Twitter thread on the accusations came from journalist Scott Stedman, who started a Twitter thread that begins as follows: “I don’t want to feed into Don Jr’s nonsense but I do want to tell a story. I followed John Weaver when I started my Twitter account. We exchanged messages, I sent him my stories, chatted about Russia, etc. He wrote a blurb for my book. He offered me some sort of “joint venture” which I wasn’t interested in, so I didn’t respond to his calls.”
Stedman continues: “One day, he DM’d me and said he had ‘advice’. He then proceeded to tell me how ‘hot’ I looked and commented on my profile picture and my hair. He started calling me ‘my boy’. I found it deeply uncomfortable.”
“What he said to me pales in comparison to others with whom Weaver communicated and countless others who have experienced much worse from people in power,” Stedman said.
And there could be much more where that came from…
For those asking why speaking up about this now: There are others, including some who reached out to me in recent days. Many many many many others, some afraid to say anything.
— Scott Stedman (@ScottMStedman) January 10, 2021
Neither The Lincoln Project nor it’s leadership have publicly commented on the accusations yet, including Weaver himself.
Stay tuned as this story develops.
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