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No, The Guy in That Fight Video Is Probably Not Mike Brown

A video has been circulating recently that purports to show Mike Brown, the 18-year-old shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, beating an older man over a backpack. I’ve seen this video passed around on Facebook in the last few days, mostly by people working backward from the notion that Brown was a menace to society who deserved to die. Some of the individuals sharing the video without skepticism are local journalists — because the industry just hasn’t had a hard enough time of late.

The footage is brutal and disturbing, and you probably shouldn’t watch it. Especially since the person in that video almost certainly is not Mike Brown. The rumor-debunking site Snopes looked into the matter and has determined that the video has been mislabeled. (It was also taken off of Facebook at one point, not because of the content or label or any policy of the social network, but because the person who first shared it removed the post and that’s how that works.)

Turns out, this footage was shot two years ago, when Brown would have been 15 or 16. Also, it was shot in Dallas, in the Woodland City Apartments (the original video is titled “Only in Woodland City”), and there is no indication Brown ever spent time in North Texas.

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New Websites for Morning News and Star-Telegram

Both of our metropolitan region’s major daily newspapers have recently unveiled revamped web designs. The new Dallas Morning News, in fact,  launched yesterday. Seeing as (given my job title here) it could be said that I live in a glass house myself, I’m going to refrain from detailed critiques of their new looks.

I won’t refrain, however, from saying that I like what the Star-T has cooked up a little better at this point. It appears to be in use by the rest of the McClatchy newspaper chain as well. I find its homepage more pleasant to look at, and easier to navigate, thanks largely to the use of those blue directional tags (like “Politics & Government,” “Crime”) that help to visually separate stories from one another. The overabundance of white space on the Morning News, by contrast, leaves me unsure where I’m supposed to be looking as I scroll down. Its headlines seems to bleed into one another.

I also much prefer the Star-T‘s mega-menus to the white-text-on-blue-background of the simplistic Morning News navigation bar. All that said, word is that this is just step one for the Morning News, and there could be more changes coming. I’ve heard, for instance, that the DMN homepage was supposed to have a wallpaper ad yesterday (one of those annoying ads that runs on either side and above the content, like we have on some of our site too) on it, but I couldn’t see it on my small laptop screen. With any launch, there are bound to be bugs.

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Leading Off (12/12/14)

OSHA to Investigate Thanksgiving Tower Fire. Thursday’s blaze beneath the downtown Dallas building’s parking garage claimed the lives of three men working in a thermal storage tank. The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined. Officials don’t know if the workers may have been welding or cutting even though the company that employed the men hasn’t had a valid permit for that sort of work since 2009.

10th Irving-Area Earthquake in 2 Months. Last night at 9:25 p.m., a 2.6-magnitude quake struck near Spur Road and the Trinity River northeast of the former Texas Stadium site.

Dallas DA’s Office Dismissed Cases Without Informing Victims. WFAA reports on two family violence cases dropped by the district attorney in violation of the Texas Bill of Rights, which states that crime victims are entitled to be told about all proceedings involving their cases.

Former Fort Worth Cop Not Indicted For Shooting Dog. Kenneth Wayne Flynn shot a neighbor’s German shepherd back in September after being led to believe the dog had killed his cat. A grand jury yesterday no-billed him on animal cruelty charges.

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Leading Off (12/11/14)

Woman Charged With Capital Murder After Man and Daughter Found In Arlington Home. Veronica Dunnachie was arrested after police found her at a mental hospital. She is charged with shooting and killing her husband Russell, 50, and his 20-year-old daughter, Kimberly; Veronica and Russell were in the process of getting divorced. Family members said Veronica “had become very distant, lost weight and become heavily involved in gun-rights activist groups.”

Fort Worth Had 42 Percent Population Growth Between 2000 and 2013; Dallas Had Less Than 3 Percent. I missed this earlier, but dang.

Dallas City Council Passes New Transportation-For-Hire Ordinance. The new rules go into effect April 30.

Arboretum Wants To Raise Parking Rates From $10 to $15. I see they’ve reached Phase 3 of their Make Everyone Irritated at Us plan.

Mavs Have Too Much Monta Again. They beat the New Orleans Pelicans 112-107 on the strength of Monta Ellis 26 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter. HIT THE THEME MUSIC.

Little Texas Town From Footloose Might Be Close To Having a School Dance After All. Trustees at Highland Park ISD will vote on revisions to the recently controversial book selection policy in January or February. Now that everyone has taken a deep breath, the situation seems to be getting much less contentious and potentially book-burn-y.

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Ask John Neely Bryan: Issuing a Challenge to the Dallas City Council

Friends, I must report that my editor and I nearly came to blows this week over the contents of today’s column, which I am officially filing under protest. I badly wished to give his proboscis a good wringing after he required that I supplant the golden prose I had spun for both your entertainment and edification with a tepid pool of my second-best work.

Granted, my second-best work is more satisfying to the mind and the soul than 99.9 percent of the pabulum churned out by other so-called “professional” scribes. That does not change the fact that I must live with the knowledge I have done you a disservice, dear readers. You’ll learn nothing of my extensive knowledge of weaponry or hand-to-hand combat, and all because some yellow-bellied stuffed-shirt down at the D Magazine offices is afraid the company might be charged with inciting a riot or threatening the lives of public officials if we’d run my original, superior text.

Oh, hang it all. Let’s get this nonsense disposed with.

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Leading Off (12/10/14)

Dr. Kent Brantly Honored: The Fort Worth-trained doc was regaled by Tarrant County officials after he donated possibly life-saving plasma to at least three Ebola patients, following his own bout with Ebola. I heard something recently about how, in the United States, all of our statues are of generals and politicians, while in Europe they’re mostly of writers and philosophers. Maybe doctors should be added to the list.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show Comes to Denton Today: Yeah, sure, why not. Maybe it’s to cover fracking.

Arlington Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Drunken Hit and Run Deaths: Benjamon Stewart was convicted on three counts of intoxication manslaughter, and fleeing the scene, following a 2013 incident on Interstate 30. Uber, people. Uber.

Well, If You Live in Dallas, Maybe Uber: Dallas City Council is set to vote on the legality of Uber and Lyft today. This is your reminder of the city government’s hand in keeping those two companies out of Dallas.


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Wick Allison Announces He Is Helping To Form a PAC

A few days ago, I had a conversation with a connected guy who is in the business of shaping people’s perceptions of various matters. He told me something along these lines: “For the past couple of months, it seems every conversation I have with a rich, old white guy [ed: this was said with intentional irony, as the fellow himself is a rich, old white guy], I’m trying to explain to him how things have changed — radically, quickly — in this city. The Citizens Council doesn’t have the power it once did. It has shifted, gotten younger. People are talking about urban issues in a way they haven’t before in Dallas. I’m trying to figure out how it has happened, and I keep coming back to Patrick Kennedy.”

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Leading Off (12/9/14)

Tony Romo Actually Didn’t Have a Broken Rib. As Romo said in an interview after the win against the Bears last week, and as everyone reported, he has been playing with a broken rib. Well, that would be a no-no, because the broken rib was never included in the Cowboys’ injury report. Yesterday, Romo was all like, “Did you guys think I said broken rib? It was cold in Chicago. My lips were totally numb there on the outdoor set with Deion Sanders and the rest of the guys. What I said was — and this is really funny, looking back, seeing how everyone misheard me — what I said was ‘Bro, can I get a Mr. Pibb?’ Glad I could clear that up.”

SMU President Defends Cuts. The university is looking to cut up to $35 million in administrative expenses after a consultant found that SMU has “excess management layers.” Pony up.

Flu Cases Spike in Dallas County. The flu virus should hire the Richards Group. Here’s my thinking: Ebola killed one person in Dallas, and everyone got very concerned. Now, what if I told you that during the Thanksgiving week, Dallas County had 758 flu cases and that someone has died? What if I promised you that more will die? In the United States, thousands of adults and hundreds of children die each year from the flu. Are you freaked out? What if I told you that there is a vaccine? Anyway, look at this picture of a 3-year-old getting vaccinated. [shivers]

A Good Thing About TCU and Baylor Getting Snubbed. The playoff games will almost certainly have a greater economic impact on North Texas. See there? Doesn’t that make you Horned Frogs feel better?

Gruesome Details About Murder of Hulen Mall Employee. If Carter Cervantez and her boyfriend, Clarence Mallory, did what police think they did — “beat, bound, strangled, and set afire a former co-worker who had identified them as possible suspects in an August theft” at American Eagle Outfitters — then I hope a jury shows no leniency.

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Stephen Jones Has a Big Ol’ Tummy

Here’s my breakdown of the below video from last night’s game: the camera cuts to the owner’s box at Soldier Field. Stephen Jones is super nervous, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because he’s sitting next to his dad. Maybe it’s because he can’t wait to get on the Cowboys party bus and cruise for chicks in Wrigleyville. Maybe it’s because he has stage-four restless leg syndrome. I don’t know. But his legs are bouncing at 100 mph. His tie is askew. His arms are crossed. Then he looks up to check the television broadcast on a monitor above his head, and here’s what goes through his head:

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Peppard Project Tells How North Texas Oilmen Became Political Kingmakers

If you’re into history, and Texas history in particular, you’re apt to enjoy a new three-part, multi-media project by Alan Peppard of the Dallas Morning News. In the stories, titled “Islands of the Oil Kings,” Peppard tells how two remote islands off the coast of South Texas became “unlikely centers of power and influence” nearly eight decades ago, thanks to a couple of multimillionaire oilmen from Dallas-Fort Worth. In 1937, Peppard recalls, President Franklin Roosevelt and his 165-foot yacht, the USS Potomac, visited the San Jose and Matagorda islands, which were owned by Sid Richardson of Fort Worth and Dallas’ Clint Murchison Sr., respectively.

That first presidential visit represented nothing less than a “cosmic shuffle,” effectively putting Lyndon Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower en route to the White House, and fashioning Richardson and Murchison as “the first oilmen kingmakers,” Peppard writes. The DMN scribe also dug up some old, black-and-white home movies of FDR fishing and palling around with the Texans, then put together an online mini-documentary in three parts. Peppard says he spent a year working on the “Kings” project, traveling to the islands and dodging a “scary number of rattlesnakes, alligators, mosquitoes, and killer bees.” The first installment runs this Sunday, but it’s available online now. Part two will run Sunday Dec. 14, and part three the Sunday after that.

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Leading Off (12/4/14)

Monta Ellis Hits Second Game-Winner In Two Days. This one, in Milwaukee, was a spinning, fadeaway runner going the wrong way as time expired and never looked as though it was not going right into the net. MONTA HAVE IT ALL. Mavs are starting to have kind of a special feeling, no?

Trinity Toll Road Opponents Comes Out Strong At Debate. Hosted and moderated by state Rep. Rafael Anchia, the debate at north Oak Cliff’s Rosemont Primary School featured mostly the usual players (Michael Morris, Mary Suhm, Craig Holcomb for; Patrick Kennedy, Scott Griggs, former supporter Bob Meckfessel against). But, as Brandon Formby notes, there were either very few people in the audience in favor of the road, or all of them were playing an extremely competitive edition of the quiet game. More on this later.

Josh Brent Faces Lawsuits. The Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman is being sued by the father of Jerry Brown, the teammate he killed when he drove drunk and wrecked his Mercedes. Brown’s father is also suing Privae Lounge, the now-closed club that the state found overserved Brent. The owners of Privae are also suing Brent for damages, just in case Brown’s father wins.

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