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Bloody Towels & Jerry Joe Pittman, Asst. Police Chief of San Antonio

Assistant Chief Jerry Pittman has called the San Antonio Observer, San Antonio's leading Black newspaper, to say that he's human, that he's made a mistake. But I suspect he's thinking twice about retiring, because he needs another year to get his full pension.

He’s scary

When I first saw Asst. Chief Jerry Pittman en persona, San Antonio’s highest-ranking black cop, and certainly most-controversial, my gut talked to me. I was at Pittman’s press conference downtown, orchestrated by the most expensive public relations firm in town, Connolly & Company, on March 11, 05, where he announced his exoneration from rape allegations brought by his step-niece, a 39 year-old working-class, black, woman.

Chief Pittman, a 6’5” blue-black brother, with bullets instead of eyes, would’ve shot me if he could that day because of my questions, while the rest of the media kissed his grits. Look, I’m a middle-aged woman who trusts her intuition about men, and I know what I feel. But - I’m also a journalist, independent and ornery - and don’t have to put up with media bosses servile to the police in this town. I can speak the truth, and you deserve to hear it, so here goes. For the record.

Pittman, as everybody knows comes from country, a place according to media reports called Kosciusko, Mississippi. He’s been with the SAPD since 1974, and is on the verge of an early retirement, effective at the end of August – after bloody towels and sheets were discovered at a La Quinta hotel room on I-35 and Rittiman Road that he shared with an unnamed woman. In the story reported this week by Vianna Davila for the San Antonio Express-News, Pittman was a “regular” customer, a hotel clerk told the police, who determined that the couple had “consensual sex.”

One thing about my ambition,” Pittman said to the SAEN in a story on February 13, 2005, examining his background to become the city’s next San Antonio’s Police Chief, “is that it has never been absent of character, has never been absent of integrity, has never been absent of morality.” [italics mine] He wasn’t chosen, gracias a Dios, and until his retirement he remains the Assistant Police Chief of Operations, whose responsibilities include Investigation, Patrol, and Technical Services.

The reason I rehash what you already know is that those bloody towels remind me of a story the therapist/friend (I’ll call her Ms. Kind) of Marci Bennett, Pittman’s step-niece, confided to her. Bennett accused Pittman of raping her on February 6 of last year, and the attorney Rosie Gonzalez (no relation to me), who specializes in family law, was contracted by Ms. Kind because she was that afraid of the police.

Ms. Kind told Gonzalez in her sworn statement that Bennett was sexually abused by her stepfather when she began her first menstruation, and then was passed on to Pittman.

I’m an MSW, a professional social worker in my past life, and I’ve seen raped young girls. I’ve seen them with bruised and ripped vaginas and souls, and if I’m offending you, I’m sorry. But these girls deserve a witness. And yes, it happens in families. Some girls survive it, and others, just don’t. Gonzalez has impressed upon me that Ms. Kind contracted her out of fear, “to keep the police at bay, to stop them from harassing her.” Mind you, Pittman’s job was over the sexual crimes division. Though Pittman was “exonerated,” from the rape allegations after the most yellow-bellied journalism I’ve ever seen by the San Antonio Express-News, Gonzalez reminds me that the DA’s Office cited the lack of “enough evidence.” That doesn’t mean there wasn’t evidence, she says, or “enough evidence to indict him.”

In fact, says Gonzalez, the whole statement was “very prejudicial to Pittman.”

TO BE CONTINUED. To read more, please see the San Antonio Observer this week with a cover photo of Pittman in his trademark sunglasses, "You've been a BAD BOY," August 16 - August 22, 2006


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