Citizen journalist Nick Sortor, who has been doing a yeoman’s job reporting on the scene of the Maui wildfire disaster, appears to have been accosted by police while trying to ask the mayor about the missing children.
“MAUI POLICE HEADLOCK ME FOR ASKING THE MAYOR ABOUT MISSING CHILDREN,” Sortor reported on X. “MAYOR BISSEN KNOWS THE ANSWER, BUT HE’S HIDING IT.”
“The mainstream media have been REFUSING to press the Mayor on this, so residents and I started pressing him HARD for the past SEVERAL DAYS,” he continued. “He’s been demonizing and attempting to discredit me ever since.”
“Regardless, we’ve been able to really BLOW THE LID OFF this story,” he went on. “THIS IS A COVER-UP. CHILDREN WERE BURNED ALIVE. I’ve even heard HORRIFIC first-hand accounts from locals that found BABY BONES IN CAR SEATS, and bones of a young boy laying on top of his dog to protect it from the inferno.”
“The four schools in Lahaina served over 3,000 students. — ONLY 400 have enrolled in other schools,” Sortor pointed out. “Another 200 are doing virtual learning WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN, MR. MAYOR?”
The video shows an altercation with police officers while Sortor was trying to ask the Mayor of Maui County about unidentified cadavers and missing children.
“How many children are dead?” Sortor asked repeatedly. Mayor Bissen finally confessed, “I don’t know.”
The incident follows reports about an official media blackout on new images coming out of Maui. On Monday, a reported FEMA letter dated August 19, 2023 surfaced.
EXCLUSIVE 🚨 | A person wishing to stay anonymous has sent me this email by FEMA sent to their nonprofit who is headed to Maui to help with disaster relief.
They say they are being asked to STOP posting any images or videos while on the ground effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/hdZy5ubwvv
— Anthony Cabassa (@AnthonyCabassa_) August 21, 2023
“A person wishing to stay anonymous has sent me this email by FEMA sent to their nonprofit who is headed to Maui to help with disaster relief,” Anthony Cabasa reported. “They say they are being asked to STOP posting any images or videos while on the ground effective immediately.”
The August 19 letter reads:
“Out of respect for those who perished, we were asked by Maui County officials to pause on posting on social media and elsewhere new imagery of damage/disaster/debris starting now. They are asking for a full stop on disaster imagery going forward. At this time, we have not been asked to take any photos or video down. Our team on the ground is coordinating with the County for further guidance to ensure we remain fully aligned. Cultural sensitivity is of the utmost importance in all our response and recovery activities to this disaster.”
It was signed off on as Justin Angel Knighton, who is the Director of FEMA’s Office of External Affairs.
This squares with other reports, such as that given by Fox News’ Will Cain.
To be clear, there have been MANY amazing citizen journalists and local news like @MauiNOW is great. But when you attempt to control information you sow the seed of conspiracy theory. You know a resource that’s missing in Maui: information.
— Will Cain (@willcain) August 15, 2023
“We believe we are the only national media in West Maui,” Cain said. “I haven’t see any other crews. And they tried to censor us and shut us down. ‘West Maui is a media free zone.’ We only got through the checkpoints because I’m a property owner in West Maui. They have this place on info lockdown from Waihee to Maalaea.”
“To be clear, there have been MANY amazing citizen journalists and local news like @MauiNOW is great,” he added. “But when you attempt to control information you sow the seed of conspiracy theory. You know a resource that’s missing in Maui: information.”
Nick Sortor has provided more reporting that is shedding light on the deteriorating situation in Maui.
🚨 JOE BIDEN IS ON MAUI
While Biden flies around in circles above Maui, residents are TRAPPED on closed roads for the next several hours.
Biden will then be meeting with pre-selected “residents” and will NOT be taking media questions.
Police are telling me that… pic.twitter.com/JiR1iZganY
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) August 21, 2023
When Sortor was asked if the military ever mobilized to set up camps and supplies for survivors, his response was sobering.
“It’s essentially ALL volunteer and non-profit operations,” he said. “FEMA is doing practically nothing. Very frustrating.”
Nonetheless, FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell insists that she and Biden have been in close communication throughout the entire disaster response.