He has a PR firm so where is Michael Bryant’s side of the story?

September 10, 2009

Mess Media, September 10, 2009

Michael Bryant in police custody

Michael Bryant in police custody

After killing Darcy Allan Sheppard, Michael Bryant immediately called his lawyer and then his PR firm Navigator Ltd. He held his first news conference as he stepped out of the police station the next morning.

Other than his resignation letter from Invest Toronto we haven’t heard from him, even though it sounded like the PR plan was for further statements.

Navigator Limited senior partner Robin Sears confirmed Mr. Bryant had retained the top-tier communications firm. He said Mr. Bryant will speak publicly again in the coming days.

Globe and Mail, September 3, 2009

Perhaps the exposure of Navigator as the source of speculation set them back or perhaps Bryant does not have a side to the story.

Howard Levitt, in the Financial Post reviewed his PR campaign so far

Although he began well, he made major errors. First, the fact that his every word is being dictated by a PR firm is indelibly imprinted in everyone’s mind. One would think that, if his PR firm was doing its job well, no one would know of its existence. Many will now believe that whatever Bryant states was written by others and calculated for PR purposes rather than being a disingenuous reflection of the truth.
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ANNOTATED – Toronto Cyclist Sheppard Killed – Bryant on security cameras

September 10, 2009

From the video description:
This is security camera footage edited in the time sequence according to eyewitness accounts from August 31, 2009 9:45pm

There may be gaps of time between the available footage.

Security camera shows Bryant repeatedly approaching Sheppard with his car and seemingly running the bike down, throwing Sheppard over the hood. (Bloor, west of Bay)

Car backs away from a bike and man getting up from the ground. The car accelerates away, driving past the man who runs down the street after/beside the car as it passes him. The bike is left behind.

Car speeds down the street on the wrong side.

Bryant leaves the scene of the cyclist’s death and is apprehended, apparently 1hr 45 minutes later. Questions remain about the intervening time. His second phone call after the accident was to the PR firm Navigator: http://www.navltd.com

I offer my personal respects and condolences to the families and loved ones of both Mr. Bryant and Mr. Sheppard whose lives have been affected by the brutality of this incident.

*** This footage is unaltered except: re-sizing / cropping to fit, brightness contrast adjustment for clarity, cuts between camera angles, and unavoidable artifacts from the video compression algorithms used on the source footages and youtube publishing.

The soundtrack is “Hit & Run” by “Dragonfly” from the album “Blind”, now known as “The Singhs” I am ever grateful for this beautiful and apropos song which has helped soothe me while editing this brutal footage. It is attached for entertainment purposes only.

*** Annotations are to point out details mentioned in news stories and from people familiar with the location. Interpretations of the video footage should be taken as description of an opinion and not fact.

Witnesses to killing of Darcy Allan Sheppard By Michael Bryant

September 10, 2009

Here are two actual witnesses to the killing of Al Sheppard. Their testimony matches other witness accounts and not the speculation put forward by Bryant’s PR firm Navigator Ltd.

Eyewitnesses to a killing by a motorist in Toronto from Mess Media on Vimeo.

`Navigator, changing your perceptions without you even knowing it.'”

September 10, 2009

The media coverage of the killing of Al Sheppard has been intense. There are links to many of them on the Media Articles page. One article in the Toronto Star from September 5 shows the influence of the public relations firm Navigator Ltd. (Spinning the first week of Michael Bryant`s new life)

In the first day after accident media reports focused on the many eyewitnesses of the events.

Comments from the police appearing that day, notably in the Star, suggest a consensus in interviews at the scene. “Based on the circumstances and the evidence we have so far, it was the appropriate charge(s),” says Det. Const. Leslie Lalla. “We have witnesses saying that we have a male hanging on to the driver’s side. Eyewitnesses report he was driving along the curb. The car doesn’t appear to be out of control.”

Michael Bryant is close to Navigator`s Chair Jamie Watt, who is “touted for knowing everybody in Canadian power circles.”

Bryant is said to have called Navigator within a few hours of the initial incident and Navigator went to work quickly.
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Memorial Fund set up to aid Sheppard burial costs

September 10, 2009
Darcy Allan Sheppard

Darcy Allan Sheppard

The Toronto Bike Messenger Association (TOBMA) has opened an account at TD Canada Trust for donation to help pay for Darcy Allan Sheppard’s burial arrangements and for his children. If you should wish to donate you can go into any TD branch and donate into account number 06906676860 for Darcy Allan Sheppard. Or you can go to tobma.com and donate via pay pal”

Sheppard will receive traditional Aboriginal burial rights before he is laid to rest in his home province of Alberta.

A ceremony for Darcy Allan Sheppard will be held on Monday at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, where an elder will lead a solemn service of prayers and drumming.

The service will only be open to close friends and family — some of whom have made the trip eastward. On Wednesday, Darcy Sheppard Sr. arrived in Toronto to collect his son’s remains.

Go to tobma.com to donate

Globe and Mail Reveals Bryant’s PR Firm As Source for Stories

September 9, 2009

Michael Bryant in police custody

Michael Bryant in police custody

Mess Media, September 4, 2009

Michaels Bryant’s killing of Allan Sheppard has garnered a vast amount of media attention but how much of the media coverage is generated by Bryant’s PR firm. Rick Salutin of the Globe and Mail reports on the PR campaign to contoll the media message.

The firm turned out to be Navigator Ltd., which acted for Brian Mulroney during the Karlheinz Schreiber operetta. This muddies everything that follows.

Salutin reports that Bryant’s second phone call in custody was to hire the PR firm. From that moment the facts of the story have been crafted by those employed by Bryant.

But there’s one element that irritates me severely. It’s the presence, since very early, of a public-relations firm aiding Mr. Bryant. Globe reporter Timothy Appleby says he was told outside the jail that morning that a PR firm was involved. Even Sherman McCoy [in The Bonfire of the Vanities] didn’t use his second call to phone a publicist

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What Started It All?

September 9, 2009

Mess Media, September 3, 2009

The Toronto media have given Al Sheppard’s death vast coverage. The have investigated his background.They have reported speculation and rumour. But most of them have virtually ignored one critical aspect of this tragedy.

How did it begin?

The media have said that it began after a minor accident in which Sheppard’s bike was damaged. What are they leaving out?
Michael Bryant

Christie Blatchford of the Globe and Mail is generally not a friend of cyclists but she has reported that it all began when Michael Bryant hit Sheppard’s bike from behind.

Earlier eyewitness accounts describe an angry clash between Mr. Bryant and Mr. Sheppard – a toot of the horn and a shout to get moving from Mr. Bryant; a refusal and perhaps an answering shout from Mr. Sheppard; Mr. Bryant edging his convertible closer, and by one account, actually hitting Mr. Sheppard’s bike

So it began with Bryant in full road rage mode hitting Sheppard from behind because he didn’t get out of the way. Is this not important for the public to know? Why would a guy who just had dinner with his wife to celebrate their 12 wedding anniversary be so agitated? But he was. He intentionally hit Sheppard’s bike.