This comment, one of many like it, regarding the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson Mo. really shows that the writers spend way too much watching television legal dramas and cop shows.
The fact that the Ferguson Police didn’t release a police report until weeks after the incident, which was full of redactions, and under pressure from the Department of Justice leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
I will be one of the first people to get onto police departments about releasing information; all too often they decide what the people ‘needs to know’ instead of freely releasing information. But in this case I really don’t think the criticism is warranted.
Turn it around — let’s say it was Michael Brown under suspicion of murder; how many people would want information released the next day, eh?
Part of the blame for this is the unfair consideration given to the timing of an officer making a statement. Many jurisdictions allow an officer 2 or 3 days to make an official statement. Somehow I just don’t see those same officers giving you or I that much time before we wandered in to make an official statement. Nor do we get to review the official videos, transcripts, etc before making our statements.
That said – is it fair to take 7 days to release a police report on the shooting? Absolutely. Make sure you get the facts straight, make sure the information hasn’t been misunderstood (Can anyone say NBC and “effing coon”?) — this goes for both sides of the equation. I don’t want the police casting blame on someone who doesn’t deserve it and I don’t want the police being tried in the press — by the government statements at least. We can’t stop the race-baiters and media outlets from doing that but we can control what the government does.
We have enough reasons for criticizing the government; let’s not make up more especially when it just stirs people up with imagined slights.
Please join the discussion.