by William Skink
Is it news that City Council person Heather Harp publicly asserted her opinion at Council last night that felony charges against Brandon Bryant should be dismissed?
According to the Missoulian, the only newsworthy thing that happened at Council last night was the neighborhood reaction to a proposed 3 story storage facility at River Road and Reserve Street.
The Missoula Current also omitted any hint of Harp’s appeal to Bryant, choosing instead to highlight “false facts and conspiracy theories” related to a person who provided public comment:
Monday night’s meeting got off to a rocky start, prompted by public comment rooted in false facts and conspiracy theories, including those surrounding the arrest of a Brandon Bryant – a man who threatened to murder members of the City Council and others.
One of those speakers, who has protested during public comment several times in recent weeks, admitted that he too has made a threatening video. Like Bryant, he also contends his video was taken out of context by what he described as a digital stalker.
He accused the council of trying to make an example of Bryant. But council members unanimously disputed the accusation, saying the Missoula County Attorney alone made the decision to arrest Bryant for threats of murder and intimidation against public officials, as permitted under Montana law.
“I think it’s super important we don’t propagate misnomers,” said council member Stacy Anderson. “It’s really important the public knows that we had absolutely nothing to do with putting anyone behind bars. We don’t have that authority.”
I think this is despicable reporting by Martin Kinston. What “false facts” were made in the public comment? What “conspiracy theory” was put forward? Kidston doesn’t elaborate on any of that, but he does allow Stacy Anderson to claim that Council members “had absolutely nothing to do with putting anyone behind bars.”
Oh really? So, some City Council members claim they feel threatened, they add extra police to Council meetings, the Council members who think they are at risk of being eliminated presumably have some degree of communication with the County Attorney’s office, but all that amounts to ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?
It wasn’t until I went on Twitter this morning and saw this NBC Montana article that I had any idea Heather Harp called for changes against Bryant to be dismissed:
Harp wrote that she has met with Bryant and knows him to be nonviolent, although he did talk of violence. She added she does not condone his statements but understands now more about mental health and PTSD.
Bryant says he suffers from both PTSD and a traumatic brain injury.
Harp’s letter calls for compassion and ends with a request that charges be dismissed and that Bryant receive help.
Is this newsworthy? Apparently both the Missoulian and the Missoula Current determined it wasn’t. I’m glad NBC Montana did find this newsworthy and reported an aspect of the Council meeting last night that other media sources for some reason omitted.