THE MISREPORTED AND THE DEAD: Shot and killed in Shasta County!

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

Which deaths get discussed?:
Within the modern press corps firmament, shooting deaths at the hands of police aren't all created equal.

Some shooting deaths at the hands of police are widely reported and discussed. Other, similar shooting deaths are completely ignored—disappeared.

So it has been with the "execution" of Bijan Ghaisar. So it was with the earlier shooting death of John Geer.

Even widespread coverage of these shooting deaths by the well-known Washington Post couldn't persuade the national press corps to report or discuss them. For background on those shooting deaths, see yesterday's report.

This same principle obtained in 2019, when Dennis Wayne Tuttle and Rhogena Ann Nicholas, ages 59 and 58, a married couple, were shot and killed as they slept in their bed in a bungled no-knock raid in Houston.

When George Floyd was killed by one or four Minneapolis police officers in May of this year, this particular (non-shooting) death at the hands of police occasioned massive coverage.

Given the crazy ugliness of the event, that was completely appropriate. Earlier, though, when Tony Timpa, age 32, died facedown in the street as a group of Dallas policemen mocked him, that particular (non-shooting) death occasioned no national coverage at all.

Within our upper-end press corps firmament, very similar deaths at the hands of police are treated very differently. Recently, we had occasion to read an essay about a recent shooting death in largely rural Shasta County, California, where police officers have shot and killed three people since December of last year.

The shooting death to which we refer occurred on June 2 of this year in little-known Cottonwood, a census-designated place of roughly 3000 souls. The decedent, Robert James Lyon, was a 65-year-old man.

In rural locales like Shasta County, there may be little local media to initiate discussion of a police shooting death. In the matter of Robert Lyon, the Washington Post's Fatal Force site links to this online account by KRCR-TV, the Redding, California ABC affiliate:
KRCR-TV (6/2/20): On Tuesday, at 10:39 a.m., Shasta County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to a home on Adobe Road in Cottonwood regarding a female calling 9-1-1 asking for help.

When deputies arrived, they contacted the female who reported being threatened with a firearm by Robert Lyon, 65, who also lived in the home.

[Shasta County Sheriff's Office] says they learned Lyon was still inside the home, so they began making announcements from a PA system.

Lyon then left his home holding a shotgun, refusing several commands given by deputies to comply. [Shasta County Sheriff's Office] says a deputy was forced to fire several rounds from his rifle at Lyon, striking him.

Medical aid was immediately provided to Lyon, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The account continues briefly from there. There is no attempt to explain the manner in which the deputy was "forced" to shoot and kill Lyon, who was refusing to comply with the officers' requests and commands.

How did we stumble upon this case? You're asking an excellent question! The answer goes something like this:

According to the Washington Post's mostly invaluable Fatal Force site
, 679 people have been shot and killed by police officers so far this year. For the record, we assume that the majority of these incidents, and perhaps the large majority, involve no misconduct by police.

That said, the total is what it is. As of this very day, the numbers break down like this:
Number of people shot and killed by police officers in the current year
White: 245
Black: 127
Hispanic: 84
Other race or ethnicity: 15
Unknown race or ethnicity: 208

Men: 654
Women: 25
Unknown gender: 0
At present, more than 200 of the dead are listed as being of "unknown" race or ethnicity.

We decided to see how hard it might be to double-check those determinations. When we did, we stumbled upon the case of Robert James Lyon.

We'd clicked around to see if we could determine Lyon's "race" or ethnicity. In the process, we stumbled upon a long, fascinating essay by R.V. Scheide, who "has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years."

Scheide had posted a long rumination on this particular shooting death. As journalists go, Scheide has an unusually complex personal history, starting with service as a machinist's mate in the U.S. Navy with other stops to follow.

That may account for the unusually wide range of Scheide's ruminations and assessments, which started this day like this:
SCHEIDE (6/8/20): I rarely find myself in agreement with right-wing conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, but last week he said something interesting during an interview with African American radio host and author Charlamagne Tha God on Charlamagne’s YouTube radio show, “The Breakfast Club,” that warrants attention.

George Floyd’s horrific death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on June 2, and the protests, riots and looting that spread across America as a result, had brought the unlikely pair together. As you might expect, when pressed by Charlamagne on the subject of white privilege, Limbaugh denied that white privilege exists.

Then el Rushbo offered this sad reflection
on fatal encounters with the police.

“If what happened to George Floyd had happened to a white man, we probably wouldn’t even have heard about it,” Limbaugh said.

For once, he has a point, sort of.
Thus spake El Rushbo, as he spoke to Tha God. Also, thus spake Scheide.

Scheide went on to offer some assessments with which we'd be inclined to disagree. Eventually, though, he offered his own regionally informed account of this latest shooting death.

Please note! Scheide still knows how to say "alleged." In these days of tribal war and instant judgment, it's a dying practice:
SCHEIDE: [L]ast Tuesday, as hundreds of local residents prepared to take to the streets of Redding to protest the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, yet another shooting death involving Shasta County law enforcement officers was unfolding in rural Cottonwood.

According to local news accounts, shortly before 11 a.m., Shasta County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a 911 call from a woman who alleged a man had threatened her with a firearm. They met the woman, who lives in a trailer on the property, at the scene.

She informed them that Robert Lyon, 65, was in the house on the property. She alleged that Lyon had verbally threatened her and discharged a shotgun earlier in the morning but hadn’t fired it in her direction. Lyon allegedly started a small fire on the property.

The deputies called Lyon out of the house with their squad car’s PA system. He emerged allegedly carrying the shotgun. The deputies told Lyon to put down the weapon. Lyon allegedly failed to comply.

It has not been stated if Lyon pointed the weapon at the deputies. At any rate, one deputy feared for his safety and shot Lyon five or six times with a rifle. Lyon died at the scene despite receiving immediate medical attention.

Just like that, his life snuffed out.
Later, Scheide would question the unexplained claim that the deputy had been "forced" to fire his gun, thereby killing Lyon. In our view, he should have used "allegedly" one more time in the passage we've just posted.

That said, Scheide had already called attention to a possible irony. Even as local people, perfectly reasonably, ere protesting the killing of Floyd, no one was going to question or protest this local police shooting death.

Indeed, Scheide described one quite different local reaction. He quoted a local official hailing local law enforcement for its wonderful work:
SCHEIDE (continuing directly): We don’t know much about Lyon yet, and perhaps we never will. I’m presuming he was white, but his race hasn’t been released yet. He doesn’t appear to have had a criminal record, at least in Shasta County under that name.

We don’t know what Lyon’s mental health status was, nor do we know if he abused drugs and/or alcohol. We don’t know how hard deputies worked to diffuse the situation or if they inadvertently escalated it.

Sheriff’s deputies have planted the idea in local media, without offering hard evidence, that drugs may have been involved and that Lyon’s rural neighborhood is a problem area. The latter view is apparently shared by Shasta County 5th District Supervisor Les Baugh, who on Facebook posted his exuberant support for local law enforcement agencies shortly after the killing:

“A huge ‘shout-out’ to our amazing Shasta County Deputies and the massive multi-agency response
(LE/Fire) to a problem residence on Adobe Road. Glad you’re all safe. Just can’t find enough words to express how grateful we are for your actions today. On behalf of the entire neighborhood, our most sincere appreciation and deepest respect. You all rock!”
"Notice Baugh doesn’t mention that a deputy has just shot and killed one of the supervisor’s own constituents," Scheide says s he continues. "To paraphrase Rush Limbaugh, if George Floyd had been a 65-year-old white guy named Robert Lyon, we probably wouldn’t be talking about him."

Scheide goes on to describe what happened when he sent a set of questions to Baugh about this instant judgment. A summary would be, not much.

Stating the obvious, the killing of Floyd and the killing of Lyon were very different events. There's no obvious direct comparison between police behavior in these two fatal events.

That said, the shooting death of the late Breonna Taylor was very similar, in obvious ways, to the 2019 shooting deaths of Nicholas and Tuttle. The late George Floyd's horrendous death, lying face down in the street, was remarkably similar to the earlier face down death of the cruelly mocked Tony Timpa.

At this site, we're interested in the journalistic conduct. In the main, we're interested in asking a basic question:

Under current press protocols, black deaths at the hands of police will often be widely reported and widely discussed, as is completely appropriate and perhaps even instructive. But on a national basis, it's clear that the deaths of other "racial" or ethnic groups will, as a matter of pundit law, be wholly disappeared.

It's possible that this is being done from the noblest of motives. It's also possible that this is being done because our reliably unimpressive journalists are involved in performative virtue or in self-referential acts of personal identity formation.

Leave the question of motive to the side! Our basic question is this:

When one group of deaths is widely discussed and all other deaths are disappeared, might this selective behavior perhaps create misperceptions? Might people end up "terrified," perhaps even underinformed?

Tomorrow: What made Ghaisar an "other?"

51 comments:

  1. "When one group of deaths is widely discussed and all other deaths are disappeared, might this selective behavior perhaps create misperceptions?"

    Create misperceptions, dear Bob?

    How about: amounts to goebbelsian propaganda? To incitement of racial hatred? Fomenting a race war, a-la the the Thousand Hills radio?

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  2. Try using fucking logic Bob.
    The point is not that black people are the only victims of police misconduct but they are over represented as victims of police misconduct.
    But keep humping that straw man

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. can I watch

      Delete
    2. Already bored with the pool boy?

      Delete
    3. anon 12:40 - you're the one short on logic. 20 times more men than women are killed by police. Since men represent a bit less than 50% of the population, there is a gross overrepresentation of male victims. By your logic, this would prove police bias against men. If you think that a typical person following the main stream media would realize that numerically more whites than blacks are killed by police, you'd be either disingenuous or kidding yourself. Of course, there are reasons why so many more men are killed. I could, but don't think I have to, give the likely reasons why. Just because blacks are overrepresented doesn't prove 'racism.' It could be evidence of it - but there could be - and likely are - other reasons. Each incident depends on the specific facts. Blacks commit disproportionately more crimes than whites and thus have more interactions with police than whites. That leads to the disproportion.

      Delete
    4. AC/MA,
      Can you provide the data on blacks disproportionately looting businesses more than whites? The mainstream media has given me the impression most private equity firms are run by whites.
      Thanks in advance.

      Delete
  3. Limbaugh:
    “If what happened to George Floyd had happened to a white man, we probably wouldn’t even have heard about it,”

    It is more than probable that you wouldn’t hear about it on Limbaugh’s own program either, because he doesn’t care about people killed by police. He assumes, like Bob Somerby, that most of these incidents do not involve police misconduct.

    So one has to search for another reason why Limbaugh would make a statement like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “ It is more than probable that you wouldn’t hear about it on Limbaugh’s own program either, because he doesn’t care about people killed by police. He assumes, like Bob Somerby, that most of these incidents do not involve police misconduct. ”


      As it involves white folks, so too those who supposedly watchdog police.

      Otherwise, everyone would have heard of it.

      Delete
    2. 5:00

      That is such a dumb take.

      All police misconduct should be noted, even more so when it involves issues like racism.

      BLM has sparked a national interest in curbing police misconduct, and that serves everyone.

      Republicans are willing to suffer if it makes blacks suffer more, this is the odd way they have been operating since the Civil Rights movement. Lee Atwater clarified this way back when.

      If you are a Republican, check out Stuart Stevens new book for a cold splash.

      Delete
    3. “ All police misconduct should be noted,”

      Do tell, Einstein.

      Delete
    4. Cecelia, the cases that Somerby mentions: Tuttle, Ghaisar, Timpa, were all reported on by both the Times and the Post, as I have pointed out numerous times here. That is how Somerby knows about them. The Ghaisar case was mentioned over and over in the Post, and attracted significant attention from lawmakers and justice groups. Were they reported on by Fox or Limbaugh in real time?

      And who knows why Somerby mentions that Shasta County case. It doesn’t sound like misconduct.

      Delete
    5. "Do tell, Einstein."

      Only applies to non-shithole countries.
      Tough break if you live in the USA.

      Delete
  4. “might this selective behavior perhaps create misperceptions?”

    Somerby’s argument would be somewhat stronger if he differentiated between creating vs perpetuating misperceptions.

    At any rate, an incident like the death of George Floyd becomes a focus of protest because organizations like BLM use social media to get the word out. They aren’t waiting for the national legacy news media to point out their next protest target. The protests became massive, and the news media reports on them.

    And since the George Floyd incident was an example of “crazy ugliness” (according to Somerby), the protests seem justifiable.

    So what is the complaint about the protests and the coverage of them?

    Somerby hasn’t made it clear what “misperception” he is talking about.

    1. Police only kill black people.
    2. Police mostly kill black people.
    3. Police kill more black people as a percentage of their numbers.
    4. Police killings of black people are due to racism.
    It has to be one of these. Of course, number 3 is a true statement, so which is it? The news media doesn’t make claims one or two. So is it #4? If so, then Somerby needs to explain how #4 doesn’t connect to #3.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Any problem with more men being shot then women? Or, should those numbers be proportionate too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They should be proportionate, but that would require a radical change in how we socialize boys growing up, not just a change in policing (which is mostly being done by men despite an increase in female cops). Or are you going to argue that men are born with guns in their hands?

      Delete
    2. Men are born for games. Nothing else. Every child knows that play is nobler than work. He knows too that the worth or merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in the value of that which is put at hazard.

      Delete
    3. “Or are you going to argue that men are born with guns in their hands.”

      I’m pretty sure that my brothers and I were.

      In the other hand we had a steering wheel.

      Delete
  6. Look what a short step it is from listening to Fox to repeating the immortal words of Rush Limbaugh!

    ReplyDelete
  7. "When one group of deaths is widely discussed and all other deaths are disappeared,"

    It isn't that the white deaths are being "disappeared," since they are reported locally. Today I read about a black man in CA who was shot by cops after illegally riding a bike. The white deaths are also reported. Those not shot by police appear in the obituary section if their relatives notify the paper.

    What Somerby misses is that these black deaths represent a pattern of police misconduct and abuse of black people. The white deaths are not suspected of being representative of anything that warrants national attention.

    It isn't that there is a policy of reporting all deaths nationwide but the press is ignoring or disobeying that policy (e.g., disappearing those deaths). It is that the black deaths are being used as exemplars of a bad policing as part of a call for police reform. That's why they are appearing nationwide.

    Somerby's echoing of Limbaugh's "whites get no respect" and "whites are discriminated against" complaints shows us all how low Somerby has sunk. It is possible for someone to feel put upon individually, as we all do from time to time, but generalizing that to white people and claiming it is a pattern of abuse has no evidence supporting it and a great deal against it, and certainly there is no support for that claim in the police shooting statistics collected by WaPo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All fine and good to note, but really Somerby is just getting his rocks off. He is a playing a game and enjoys a good laugh at our expense.

      Delete
  8. If there is anything being misreported or disappeared from that Shasta Co story, it is the involvement of drugs.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Remember all those Americans who died on 9/11 from non-terrorist attack related causes.

    WHY HAVE THEY BEEN DISSAPPEARED?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's worse than that. Bush and Cheney then spent $3 Trillion virtue signaling about terrorism, and ignored all the white on white crime.

      Delete
    2. It is even worse than that.

      White on Muslim crime dwarfs all other crime. We killed possibly a million civilians in Iraq alone. They did not even attacks us, most of the terrorists were Saudi, yet we are buddies with the Saudi, even sell them weapons so they can kill those Yemeni devils!

      Delete
  10. The huge contextual question Somersby omits is: were these victims armed?
    Other relevant questions:
    Were they already restrained like George Floyd or did they pose an imminent and serious threat? Dieing in a shootout with police vs dieing face down in the street from slow suffocation should not be lumped together.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We never talk about the fact that in 2018, according to FBI statistics that of the 2900 African Americans who lost their lives to violence, that in 2625 of the deaths, the offenders were African American.
    In other words, 90% of the deaths by violence of African Americans is done by other African Americans. The perception in the media is that the police are running around randomly shooting African Americans. This is not true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most blacks (81% according to polls) want the same level of policing or more policing. Meaning they trust cops more than they trust violent rapists like Jacob Blake. Facts...they burn!

      https://news.gallup.com/poll/316571/black-americans-police-retain-local-presence.aspx

      Delete
    2. Did you ask them whether they want a different kind of policing?

      A similar % of white people who lost their lives to violence were done by other white people.

      This is because most people attacked or killed are attacked by family members or someone they know. Domestic violence is a biggie for all groups.

      In CA, a black man was shot by police for riding his bicycle illegally. That sounds pretty random to me.

      Delete
    3. Nice distraction, G.

      Did they ask how many people wanted better policing?
      How about the percentage of people who want the police to have qualified immunity?

      Let me know when you have those numbers, because that's what is being discussed here.

      Delete
    4. You don't determine what gets discussed here. The topic of this TDH post is policing. My post was a response to Anon 4:34's very good post, not to you. The topic of better policing was covered in the poll. Please go away until you learn to read.

      Delete
    5. Bicycle guy was shot for dropping a handgun and then going for it, despite being told not to by the cops.

      Delete
    6. Black on black crime is the same rate as white on white crime. All it indicates is that we live in a segregated society. Black on white crime is lower than white on black crime.

      Having said that, Back in Black is AC/DC's best album. Notably it heralded an American woman that kept her motor clean, in the spirit of Somerby I say we all keep our motors clean. Perhaps the Washington Post will helpfully publish the stats.

      https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/64-americans-oppose-defund-police-movement-key-goals/story?id=71202300

      In this poll, 57% of blacks support defunding the police, 64% support moving funds from the police to other agencies.

      So David in Cal's point is...sorry, so Gloucon X's point is not as salient as they might think. Furthermore, most large cities have already been
      reducing their police force while seeing a drop in crime at the same time.

      A study shows police only solve about 2-4% of crime (only 11% or so of crime gets reported to the police), in black neighborhoods homicides rarely get solved, as noted in the book Ghettoside a few years ago. This is likely the context in which black people want more policing, as their daily lives are routinely interrupted by harassment from cops on the beat.

      Delete
    7. Bicycle guy was shot and killed.

      There is now video and a witness, so there are now contradictions to some of what the sheriff deputies claim. The video shows he was walking down the street when the deputies attacked him, there was a scuffle and he fell to the ground and was shot. The witness says the bicycle guy begged her to save him, saying "they are coming to get me". The witness says he did not go for a gun. Leave it to fantasy boy cops to say a guy falling down from a scuffle was going for a gun.

      Sheriff Departments tend to have more corruption and abusive and incompetent behavior in part because they have no oversight, unlike the police, where the oversight is minimal but exists.

      This incident is nuts because there was no reason to harass a guy on a bicycle. I have been riding in LA for a decade, no one follows the codes, no one is harassed except for black riders. We already have enough harassment from drives that often try to spook us by whizzing by as close as possible. If you are going to harass someone over a minor violation, you do not need to use deadly force. Situations of pursuit are when cops are their deadliest, you do not dare run away or you risk being killed, you must obey and submit to their authority. Cops are dangerous people, I'd rather pay them to sit in a room and play out their violent fantasies with a video game.

      Delete
  12. I appreciate Bob shining the spotlight on police misconduct, and the need for police reform.
    It's needed, as you can see from the denial by some TDH readers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somerby isn't shining a spotlight -- he is among those in denial.

      Delete
    2. ?????
      He's stacking case of police misconduct on top of case of police misconduct like they're chords of wood. The idea that cops shouldn't be reined-in looks more foolish by the day.

      Delete
  13. Here's why TDH's blog entries on this topic make sense.

    ...


    OK, I got nothin' for that.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Am Laura Mildred by name, i was diagnosed with Herpes 4 years ago i lived in pain with the knowledge that i wasn't going to ever be well again i contacted so many herbal doctors on this issue and wasted a large sum of money but my condition never got better i was determined to get my life back so one day i saw Mr. Morrison Hansen post on how Dr. Emu saved him from Herpes with herbal medicine i contacted Dr. Emu on his Email: Emutemple@gmail.com we spoke on the issue i told him all that i went through and he told me not to worry that everything will be fine again so he prepared the medicine and send it to me and told me how to use it, after 14 days of usage I went to see the doctor for test,then the result was negative, am the happiest woman on earth now thanks to Dr. Emu God bless you. Email him at: Emutemple@gmail.com Whats-app or Call him +2347012841542 

    ReplyDelete
  15. This seems like a deliberate efforts to create chaos at the polls so that Trump can invalidate the election. From Political Wire blog:

    "President Trump “expanded on remarks that caused a firestorm Wednesday, when he urged supporters to vote by mail and then attempt to vote in person,” The Hill reports.

    “The president reiterated that this is necessary to ensure that their vote is tabulated.”

    ReplyDelete
  16. Everyone I know hates BLM now.

    ReplyDelete
  17. HAVING A Long and Thicker PENIS gives you a 100% guarantee when meeting your girlfriend or wife and as well makes her respect you more as the real man for being able to satisfy her sexual needs. waste no more time, get in contact with Doctor Aziba for his herbal product to help you get the actual size deserved for your woman and make her happy like every other women out there, Doctor Aziba product is 100% Vegans and guarantee with no side effects Contact Doctor Aziba via whatsApp: +2348100368288 or mail him: PRIESTAZIBASOLUTIONCENTER@GMAIL.COM



































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  18. HAVING A Long and Thicker PENIS gives you a 100% guarantee when meeting your girlfriend or wife and as well makes her respect you more as the real man for being able to satisfy her sexual needs. waste no more time, get in contact with Doctor Aziba for his herbal product to help you get the actual size deserved for your woman and make her happy like every other women out there, Doctor Aziba product is 100% Vegans and guarantee with no side effects Contact Doctor Aziba via whatsApp: +2348100368288 or mail him: PRIESTAZIBASOLUTIONCENTER@GMAIL.COM

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  19. HAVING A Long and Thicker PENIS gives you a 100% guarantee when meeting your girlfriend or wife and as well makes her respect you more as the real man for being able to satisfy her sexual needs. waste no more time, get in contact with Doctor Aziba for his herbal product to help you get the actual size deserved for your woman and make her happy like every other women out there, Doctor Aziba product is 100% Vegans and guarantee with no side effects Contact Doctor Aziba via whatsApp: +2348100368288 or mail him: PRIESTAZIBASOLUTIONCENTER@GMAIL.COM

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  20. I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my boyfriend returns back to me, and today with all due respect I want to thank DR.ONIHA for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until I lost my boyfriend, I required help until I found a great spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast. Three days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for the past 6 years now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my backbone till the rest of his life with me. DR.ONIHA released him to know how much I loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have shared together. As I`m writing this testimony right now I`m the happiest girl on earth and me and my boyfriend are living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it was even before our break up. So that`s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe. All thanks goes to DR.ONIHA for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in any situation you are undergoing, it may be a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely help you too.
    EMAIL: ONIHASPELLTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM
    CALL/WHATSAPP : +16692213962.
    Website: http://onihaspells.com. 

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  21. Happiness is all i see now, i was herpes sicker for 6 years but i thank God for directing my footsteps to Dr Emu, he gave me instructions and i followed and in 2 weeks i was completely cured using his medicine, I am now Herpes Negative Contact Dr Emu for more information, He also has other cure to other ailment, HIV AIDS, CANCER, DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, HEPATITIS B/C And also restore broken relationships such as Ex HUSBAND, Ex WIFE, BROKEN MARRIAGES, Any kind of Problem in any relationship can be restore back in 24hours, Just Email: emutemple@gmail.comWhatsapp or call: +2347012841542

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