The City Clerk's office reports that only about 18,000 signatures were turned in; about a quarter of those required to even consider placing an initiative on the ballot. At the same time, on this blog, Althea Shaw, the aunt of Jamiel Shaw, the murdered 17 year old athlete the effort centers around, claims she was certain the family and their supporters had upwards of 76,000 signatures. Still too close for comfort but at least enough to get you in the door.
Claims made by Shaw that perhaps some petitions were allegedly lost, misplaced or otherwise misappropriated by City personnel have stunned and surprised many.
I don't presume to believe that some type of "grand conspiracy" is in play here; however the entire incident leads to questions that should be at least answered.
- What was the chain of custody of the signed petitions from the time they were turned into the City Clerk by the Shaws until they were returned to Ms. Shaw.
- How are these documents secured? What are the security measures in the facility where the documents are stored? Who has access to these facilities and are these individuals supervised or monitored at all times?
- What advice did Mayoral candidate Walter Moore give to the Shaws? Did they follow it? Why wouldn't Moore - as the instigator of the movement and an educated, successful attorney - make sure procedures were in place such as asking the Shaws to copy their signed petitions and otherwise document them?
- If Moore himself did not have the time nor desire to manage the drive himself, considering that the Shaws had little if any political experience prior to losing their son, why didn't the candidate recruit someone to consult and provide technical support to the Shaws considering that he has been banking a major part of his campaign on the Jamiel's Law issue?
- And finally, with all due respect to the Shaws, if the City's position is accurate, how could they make such an inaccurate estimate - not only when the petitions were turned in but in the progress reports that were given along the way?