UPDATE II: This report is reflected to note that WSVN replaced the video online, and to reflect that the video was not deleted, and the story restored even though all backlinks and all search visibility on the sole news outlet to report the original “Run & Hide” story was gone at the time of publication.
Last week, Miami-Dade Police Officer Annellis Anduja made headlines claiming she was cut-off while driving on the interstate, and then shot at by a car ahead of her.
The county officer’s ordeal was cause for pity, and reportedly an arrest of the suspect in local news media.
Fortunately driver Alejandro Rodriguez and his passenger were quickly apprehended with a cache of weapons.
Now the unusual news story reported on Miami’s WSVN TV news was thought missing after all of the news station’s backlinks broke in a website move.
Their story had this eye-popping quote.
Thinking quickly, Anduja ditched her cruiser in case her attacker returned. “I figured, ‘If I stay in this car, I’m gonna die,'” she said. “So I parked the police vehicle and I bailed out of the car. I ran to the left, which is a little wooded area. And I figured, ‘If he’s gonna come back, he’s gonna shoot at the car. And I’m not going to be in it.’ I’m just not gonna wait to die.”
The Miami-Dade Police Department was contacted both by phone and email for a response, but has not responded.
WSVN responded after publication and re-added the video to their news story which was only reported on their outlet.
But a recent Federal court ruling could give new life to lost stories.
Just last week a Federal Judge opined that web pages held at the url https://archive.org are admissible as evidence in court.
In such respect, I introduce to those not already familiar, the Internet Archive aka the Wayback Machine.
What was presented is the story of an officer so afraid for her own life she was forced to park her car, and make a dash on foot for the woods to hide. This is a sharp contrast to traditional propaganda about officer heroics, going beyond the call of duty or highlighting a well paid law enforcement officer doing their jobs, by stopping an armed and dangerous criminal.
Now while obviously embarrassing for the police department and officer, what is important is what happens when articles are scrubbed from the internet and what can be done to find the source documents.
The Wayback Machine deserves credit for evolving from a simple project into a credible online database of often times fleeting internet content, transforming from simply an invaluable tool for researching dated material online into a legitimate source of evidence in the highest courts in the land.
By clicking on a specific date you can even retrieve basically a screenshot of what was on the link on that date when it was captured by the archive.
When you find a dead link you can copy and paste the link into the archive, and it will show you the dates it was originally posted, and the dates it was modified, as well as the original images like this journalistic faux-pas documented by PINAC News’ Grant Stern on his personal blog about Walmart’s allegedly paid public relations people masquerading as online journalists.
In one interesting case discovered while investigating public corruption accusations, it was discovered that the current City Manager of Homestead, Florida, one George Gretsas, had many negative posts detailing his actions when he was ran out of office in the City of Ft. Lauderdale like this one.
A year ago this information was readily found with a simple search. Now only one link can be found, but it’s been changed to forward to an internet pornography website.
However, the Wayback Machine still has the originals.
Hopefully such scrubbing was not done with government time or money.
Now that the courts have weighed in on the admissibility of the archive, expect to see more cases, where people attempt to hide embarrassing or incriminating evidence by scrubbing the internet.
However, with a little work and know how, few things ever truly disappear from the internet.
It remains to be seen if there is any evidence such as dash cams which depict Alejandro Rodriguez firing a weapon at the officer.
Or is Miami-Dade Police Officer Annellis Anduja’s claim not actually copaganda at all, but rather the wanton actions of a police officer with ulterior motives pretending to be a victim.
Either way, the original story disappeared before reappearing, creating a police mystery.
Which mystery is being actively questioned, even on the always entertaining LEO Affairs forums where police go for free speech and to libel their enemies.
It wouldn’t be the first time in the last year that a police officer used media attention to achieve bizarre goals either, such prompting a hero’s funeral right before the corruption charges would’ve landed, as in the case of Illinois cop Lt. Joe Glienewicz. The infamous Fox Lake “Officer G.I. Joe” was a drunkard and embezzler, who last year successfully faked his own suicide as an on the job cop murder, and wound up in the bottom of a PINAC story about fabricated police shooting stories, before the string of admissions, which you can see below, rocked the police world.
Because if you’ve learned one thing reading PINAC News, it’s that the first story on police mysteries like Miami’s Cop Run & Hide officer, is rarely the last.