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Are fake posters posting to town square topics claiming to be Pleasanton Weekly reporters?

Original post made by Wondering, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Feb 22, 2016

I was looking at the comments from the Pleasanton Weekly posted in the thread from the publisher about not being able to find who Franklin Sher is in relation to the John Deming killing by the Pleasanton Police department.

Is this a fake post claiming to be a reporter or employee of the Weekly and it is not in fact the Pleasanton Weekly? Who posted this if this is from your staff.

I find it very odd that I can spend 2 seconds on Google and find that "Franklin Sher" the person referred to in the post, is a expert in toxicology, is affiliated with John Muir hospital, and has been an expert witness in multiple trials.

In a matter of 5 seconds, I can even find the trials in a verdict search for which he was an expert witness --

Web Link

Why can't the Weekly, if this post is from the Weekly, find out who this individual is if a simple Google search brings up a wealth of information about him?

The post I refer to is:

"Posted by pleasantonweekly.com, a PleasantonWeekly.com blogger,
4 hours ago
pleasantonweekly.com is a registered user.
DJohns,

We tried to find the "Franklin Sher" referenced in the CCT and SJ Mercury stories, but don't know where the reporter got this source. He didn't report where Sher is from or what his credentials are, which is pretty standard attribution. Also, this was a statement, not a quote from Sher, which we found odd. Meredith and I even looked through forensic reference books to see if that's where the reporter found the source, but to no avail.

Second, it is the statement "Autopsy at Odds with Pleasanton Police Claims," that prompted me to mention Meredith and I aren't qualified to make that leap. We do not possess medical degrees. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the CCT reporter doesn't have one either.

Did you ask yourself about Sher? Did you wonder where he is from and his qualifications? Did you wonder what makes the reporter qualified to make a statement like the one he made? If not, you might be overlooking some important questions because the statements align with your perception of what you think happened that night. I fully admit to not knowing what happened on that night.

Our responsibility as journalists is to use our critical thinking skills and ask questions like who is Franklin Sher and what are his credentials, what is "close range," and the like.

We broke the story on the county-issued autopsy and toxicology report (after we confirmed the authenticity) so readers would have the facts. We tried to find sources to translate the facts into statements, because we aren't qualified. We are still looking for credible, qualified sources to do that.

There is a responsibility that falls on individuals to think critically about information presented -- from anyone at any time -- and keep an open mind. To think critically one must lay aside biases and past experiences and look at facts and all sides of an argument.

Unfortunately, many people choose the facts to justify what they want to believe."

It is my opinion that anyone would be able to Google Sher and find out who he is. If the Weekly cannot do that, that is surprising. Is someone posing as a journalist for the Weekly in that post?

Comments (2)

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 23, 2016 at 12:16 am

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Don't you mean, self defense from assault by John Demming?


10 people like this
Posted by Wondering
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 23, 2016 at 12:50 am

I stated the "John Deming killing by the Pleasanton Police department." A fuller description might be the unarmed teenager John Deming killed bu the Pleasanton Police Department.

There is no evidence Deming assaulted anyone. Also, the lack of gun powder residue as stated by the Contra Costa Times would lead most readers of that publication to come to the conclusion that the gun was not fired at close range, thus debunking the PPD statements.

The CCT quote is:

"Meiselas said the report also debunks the Police Department's claim that Deming was shot at close range after a scuffle with Kunkel because it states that neither entrance wound contained "smoke or powder of evidence of burning."

Franklin Sher, a forensic pathologist not associated with the case, agreed that the lack of gun powder residue means it's unlikely Deming was shot up close.

According to the report, Deming had numerous contusions and abrasions on his face and upper and lower extremities. He also had a puncture wound on his back."

The contusions and abrasions referenced in the CCT article on his face and lower extremities and the puncture wound on his back are separate than the gunshot wounds. These wounds either came from being hit by the bean bags or perhaps he was beaten by someone or bitten repeatedly by the dog. But the puncture wound in the back? How did that happen? Was he running away? Is this a stab wound?

The PPD explanations including descriptions of him resisting arrest while being shot in the head make no sense.

I do not understand also why the Pleasanton Weekly could not locate Mr. Sher like the CCT was able to do because I was able to Google Mr. Sher's contact information in 2 seconds.


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