Police Sergeant Sues Dallas Morning News, Others Over Story on Fallen Officers Fundraising

A Dallas police sergeant is suing The Dallas Morning News and a host of others over a news story about two foundations he ran that raised money for the families of five police officers gunned down in Dallas on July 7, 2016. Sgt. Demetrick “Tre” Pennie is asking the U.S. District Court in Dallas for damages of $290 million from The News, the City of Dallas, the Dallas Police Association, former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and several others. His lawsuit alleges defamation, and racial and other forms of discrimination.In August 2018, an investigation by The News outlined how most of the money collected by the foundations never made it to the fallen officers’ families. Instead, most went to Pennie and telemarketing companies, including one owned by Pennie’s friend, The News reported. For every $100 donated to Pennie’s Texas Fallen Officer Foundation, just $5 went to families, the investigation found.Pennie’s lawsuit accuses the newspaper of acting “in concert” with others in “an attack based on race and discrimination to deprive plaintiff of his rights to exist as an African American leader of a credible nonprofit in Dallas.” Mike Wilson, editor of The News, said the newspaper will “vigorously defend our work.”“We stand behind our journalists and our reporting,” Wilson said.Pennie is running for a congressional seat in the district now represented by Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson. He’s represented by lawyer Larry Klayman in both the new lawsuit and the prior one against Black Lives Matter.Klayman is a former federal prosecutor and founder of conservative lobbying organizations Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch. Last month, an ethics panel for Washington, D.C.’s attorney discipline system recommended suspension of Klayman’s law license for 33 months over allegations of professional misconduct contained in a 183-page report. That recommendation is under review.Klayman told legal publication ABA Journal that he considers the recommendation “a political hit job.”   Continue reading...

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