Reporter Mired in Controversy

6 mins read

On November 11th, officer Josh Alphaville (@JAlphavilleRP) posted a screenshot of an alleged tweet by Joanne Steel (@JoanneSteelSL). The tweet, with a time stamp of November 10th at 7:45 reads, “I’m going to f***ing kill all Hathian Police officers. This is not a joke.” This tweet is not present on Steel’s Twitter feed.

The screenshot, posted by Officer Alphaville on his Twitter account, was presented to him by an informant, who he says, is a proven and reliable source of information. Alphaville admits he did not see the original tweet. He chose to share this screenshot over Twitter out of curiosity to see Steel’s response. Steel responded by stating the tweet is “an obvious fake.”

According to Alphaville, the HPD is not required by law to conduct an extensive, digital forensic analysis in order to obtain probable cause for an arrest warrant. The investigation is currently ongoing. Information gained from the investigation will be supplied to both counsels via discovery. The District Attorney will then make a decision to proceed or nullify the process of charges.

Prior to the timestamp of the supplied screenshot, a tweet posted by Steel remains on her feed. On November 10th at 7:17 PM Steel posted, “Nice to see the streets of #Hathian are quiet for a change.” It is a prime example of her format, grammar, and punctuation.

Steel makes a habit of hash tagging Hathian, as well as other locations, when posting. Also, Steel tweets in run-on sentences, rather than complete sentences, with either exclamation points, ellipsis, or a lack of end sentence punctuation. The lack of end sentence punctuation is always seen in a post containing two sentences. When referring to the Hathian Police Department, Steel always mentions them as #HPD. The word “police” is used only twice within her feed as hashtagged words (#PoliceCorruption, #PoliceBrutality) within single Tweet on November 20th. In Steel’s tweets, obscenities are used, but never once is “f***” present.

As the quoted tweet above shows, she was active on Twitter the day of November 10th and at the time of 7:17, nearly a half an hour prior to the alleged tweet of 7:45 of the same day. Steel maintains her conflict with the HPD, citing police corruption and brutality, and has a recent criminal charge of assaulting an officer.

Steel was charged with domestic terrorism. An unrelated warrant of arrest for drug possession was also an outstanding issue.

V the Broker claims Steel, as Hathian’s most wanted, reached out for help. On November 11th, the Broker arranged a meeting between Steel, Alphaville, and Assistant District Attorney Greer Stewart. Accounts detailing the events of this meeting are varied.

The Broker claims Steel turned down a reasonable plea deal to drop the charges of drug possession and domestic terrorism.

Alphaville does not recall the plea deal’s terms. He reports Steel was belligerent when she did not receive a favorable offer; and when she became violent, she was told to leave. The deal was called off due to her behavior.

Greer cannot disclose what deal was offered, as such is privileged information. She however shares it does not involve a charge of domestic terrorism.

According to Greer, under section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act, any person found to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence government policy by intimidation or coercion, or affect government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping may be charged with domestic terrorism. Reasonable suspicion by authorities that a suspect is guilty of a criminal act or planning one is enough for a charge. Police may hold a suspect of domestic terrorism for as long as necessary to conduct their investigation. If a suspect of domestic terrorism is held by police, Greer notes the District Attorney’s office may not interfere.

Greer states Steel accepted the plea deal’s terms, which do not involve the charge of domestic terrorism.

Steel however says she attended the meeting to work out a charge of sedition.

The Brandernburg v. Ohio U.S. Supreme Court decision maintains seditious speech, including speech that constitutes an incitement to violence, is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as long as it does not indicate an imminent threat.

Steel was under the impression this meeting was an effort to bring forth evidence and prove her innocence. However, Steel says her proof was ignored and it was insisted she resign herself into custody. She further claims it was suggested she undergo a DUI test to prove sobriety.  

On November 16th, Steel was taken into police custody after resisting arrest. During her stay behind bars, Steel was charged with assault of an officer for threatening the life of Alphaville. Steel served three days in jail before release and is currently free.

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