City Paper is not for tourists
On television, James W. Gee Jr. of Youngin’s Towing looks tough but honest. If you treat him with respect, he says, he’ll treat you with respect. Viewers have no reason to believe otherwise. The only contrasts to Gee’s opinion are car owner LeRoy Atkins (you might remember him from our story) and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs spokesperson Linda Argo, and neither one holds up against Gee’s smoldering self-assertion.
WJLA-TV‘s Sam Ford frames his story as a question: Does Youngin’s really rip customers off, or are they just upset at Gee’s aggressive personality? Then he leaves it hanging through the rest of the time that he re-reports our story.
Context, please! He’s alleged to have cursed out an old woman (according to Valerie Mitchell Sigwalt), chopped up one man’s car (according to St. Lawrence Smith), and kept another car even after the city told him to let go (according to Robert Jacobs‘s civil suit). When I interviewed him, he said that black people “don’t know how to conduct business,” while white people—-like me—-do.
Also unmentioned: Gee’s an ex-con. His record in D.C. Superior Court includes convictions for simple assault, disorderly conduct, and receiving stolen goods. He was charged more than two dozen times in the District and at least twice in Maryland.