February 20, 2013

"Ethan was developmentally disabled, not a criminal."

"He was entranced by police and police departments and liked communicating with them to the extent that, if there was ever a complaint, it was that he’d call so they could come to the house so he could talk to them."

77 comments:

cubanbob said...

Those cops should be flogged and fired. Looking at the victims photograph it's obvious he has downs and is in poor health. They didn't need special training to see the obvious. They could have calmly talked him out of the theater.

edutcher said...

How often did this guy go out? How unruly could he be if he didn't get his way? Why couldn't the "aide" control him?

These seem to be the operative questions.

YoungHegelian said...

As officials tell it, Saylor had been watching “Zero Dark Thirty” at a Frederick movie theater last month and, as soon as it ended, wanted to watch it again. When he refused to leave, a theater employee called three off-duty Frederick County sheriff’s deputies who were working a security job...

Oh, jeezo-peep! Couldn't the theater employee have just kept his mouth shut & let a clearly developmentally disabled person sit there & watch the movie again in peace? What did they theater think was going on -- that they were the target of a scam by the National Organization of Down's Syndrome Moviegoers?

Is there not a trace of common sense, much less human charity, left among the populace?

PoNyman said...

If you're not prepared for the person you are calling the police for to be seriously hurt or even killed don't call the police. They are the sledge hammer of society and they don't have a good on/off switch.

campy said...

Well, there's a lot of hatred of DS people out there, as we saw in 2008.

Thorley Winston said...

I’m going to withhold judgment until more facts are known about the story. The one thing I will say is that the article reads a lot like the early stories that came out about the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman incident where the media pushed a particular narrative early on.


sydney said...

Does anyone else get the sense that our police forces have declined in the past several years? They are all about using their power without restraint, and without sense. They are less Sherriff Andy Taylor and more Barney Fife, but with permission to use deadly force.

Richard Dolan said...

"These seem to be the operative questions."

No. The operative question is how did this fellow die of asphyxia while in police custody.

Mitchell the Bat said...

It would seem the sheriff’s deputies were not trained to check the airway for Raisinets.

Michael K said...

I used to watch movies a couple of times when I was a kid. I don't remember the theater people getting upset unless it was crowded. Kids go to multiplexes and go to several movies. The theater people got far too excited. He was probably a good customer.

Levi Starks said...

Officer screams at the top of his lungs "get on the ground, I said get on the ground"
Officer walks a short distance away to enjoy a group adrenalin rush with other officers, and plan the next move.
Officer returns, and exclaims "Hey, this guys not breathing"
Major buzz kill

bearing said...

Anybody else suspicious that stories of the dead individual's "cursing at police" and "began hitting and kicking them" are invented after the fact to justify the use of force that turned out to be deadly?

Anybody else surprised that a man who couldn't understand the difference between 911 and a non-emergency number might understandably react with fear and distrust to a man who says he is a cop, but doesn't dress like one?

sydney said...

No. The operative question is how did this fellow die of asphyxia while in police custody.

They hand-cuffed him and held him face-down to the ground. The neck anatomy in a person with Down's syndrome makes them much more prone to airway obstruction with certain positions than the average person. I wouldn't expect a policeman to know that, but I would expect them to recognize a guy with Down's syndrome and realize that he is like a child, no matter his size.

sydney said...

Anybody else suspicious that stories of the dead individual's "cursing at police" and "began hitting and kicking them" are invented after the fact to justify the use of force that turned out to be deadly?

Yes. I suspect police union spin.

edutcher said...

Richard Dolan said...

These seem to be the operative questions.

No. The operative question is how did this fellow die of asphyxia while in police custody.


Having had contact with a couple of people like this, trust me when I say that developmentally disabled people are not all flower children (one autistic lad of 8 tried to choke his teacher).

While the cops may or may not have crossed a line, the idea the victim was totally blameless may prove to be fantasy.

Rabel said...

"Bailey said the deputies have so far exercised their right as law enforcement officers not to give statements to investigators."

WTF?

Cedarford said...

Sorry, but I don't care how drugged/drunk out of their mind old homeless, Saylor retarded& obese, or physically delicate a psycho - the person that refuses to leave a place is.

They don't get off a plane, they resist leaving a closing bar, or library, or another neighbors property...if they don't listen..each and all of them..the owners or police will physically remove them if they don't obey commands.
And the cops will arrest any that physically resist them or disobey commands repeated.

And sometimes the frail belligerant old drunk homeless guy will die from cardiopulmonary problems caused in the struggle to get him out of the bar.

The fat angry Downs retarded person will suffocate when subdued.

The delicate psychopath on a plane will sustain severe trauma from resisting to his utmost and ensuining utmost force being used to extricate them from the plane.

The whiny "Oh, if there is the slighest chance of injury or death, then don't close the bar, tell all the patrons lined up for the movie to wait, hold staff overnight if need be...and leave the plane on the tarmac for as long as it takes to persuade the psychopath to leave"......

That is all liberal or do gooder goo!

Not how the real world must work. Why we pass laws to if need be physically compel tresspassers mentally "aware" or not to vacate....Because the rights of the lawbreaker are not mitigated by their physical or mental condition enough to outweigh the rights of hundreds, even thousands, to go about their lives and their business.

If not some Downs person disrupting, consider protestors that lie down on a highway to paralyze a city, including some elderly claiming they cannot be manhandled due to 'medical issues'.

Society cannot work if we treat tresspassers and disturbers of the peace as people that cannot be touched (let alone manhandled, pepper sprayed or tazed if resisting being escorted physically off the premises)....And go with a new option all those situations can only addressed by lengthly verbal negotiations, with owners or law enforcement pleading for hours, even days for the person to change their mind.

"If it saves just one life, if it removes any chance of injury, if some retard can do as he wishes and we honor his dignity - take as long as it takes" are not standards we can impose.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Rabel said...

"Bailey said the deputies have so far exercised their right as law enforcement officers not to give statements to investigators."

WTF?


First thing to do is get a lawyer.

Then let the lawyer do the talking.

In this day and age, it's only sensible.

Levi Starks said...

I'm sure the officers know the unwritten rules,
1) you don't talk to anyone about fight club,
2) you DONT talk to anyone about fight club.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Definitely would need more information to pass judgement on the actions of the officers.

Whether that information will ever see the light of day, who knows. There would need to be some witnesses with no dogs in the fight to give a clearer picture of what happened.

Levi Starks said...

Ok, lets try this scenario:
Retarded man returning from late movie show accidentally enters wrong house, and is shot dead by scared homeowner.
Police respond.
finish this story...

campy said...

finish this story...

Obama bans guns.

Michael K said...

"
While the cops may or may not have crossed a line, the idea the victim was totally blameless may prove to be fantasy."

Anyone who has dealt with a Down's kid or adult knows this is not what they are like. The reason why parents will keep these kids at home until they are too old is because Downs kids are so loving and passive.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Michael K said:

"Anyone who has dealt with a Down's kid or adult knows this is not what they are like. The reason why parents will keep these kids at home until they are too old is because Downs kids are so loving and passive."

I could not disagree more. People with Down's Syndrome are just that: People. While many may be loving and passive, some are not. Their disability does not take away their individual personality and make them some monolithic entity. I'm sure some are absolutely miserable bastards, probably in roughly the same percentage as the rest of the population.

Rabel said...

edutcher,

The sentence I quoted may be incorrect, but if you note the period after investigators, you'll see that your reference to lawyers is a misreading. The key point is "right as law enforcement officers."

jr565 said...

THis is a horrible incident, but I'm wondering if blame is being placed needlessly on cops:

"Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said Saylor cursed at the deputies, who weren’t wearing uniforms, and began hitting and kicking them. The deputies restrained him using three sets of handcuffs linked together and escorted him from the theater. At some point, Saylor ended up on the ground and began showing signs of medical distress. A short while later, he was pronounced dead at a local hospital."
He is someone with special needs who is being belligerent when being escorted out of a theater to the point where he needs to be shackled using three sets of handcuffs.
So what should cops do when faced with someone who is cursing them in a theater and where a single set of handcuffs isn't enough to restrain him.
Should cops at that point just let him stay in the theater? Despite the fact that a complaint was lodged and he is resisting arrest (and not even arrest, he is resisting being escorted out of a theater in which he is being disruptive requiring cops to then arrest him).
Now, did he not respond because the cops weren't in uniform and he didn't know they were cops because he was developmentally challenged. I don't know and the cops can't know. All they can do is respond to an incident.

And they didn't use deadly force.

edutcher said...

Rabel, I understand that.

I'm only pointing out that the union lawyer, if they haven't gotten their own yet, would have told them to say nothing.

As George Zimmermann, "white" Hispanic, could also tell them.

jr565 said...

The article states he was‘Not a criminal'.
Well actually, at the time of his arrest (if that is what cops did) he was, because he was resisting the cops trying to escort him peacably from the building and requiring cops to essentially subdue him.
Here's an idea, if you don't want to be treated like a criminal learn how to deal with cops so that they don't treat you like one. That is, don't fight cops, dont provoke cops, don't talk back to cops, don't resist arrests.
Cops are not always in the right, but the fact is many people get into trouble with cops because they escalate coflicts with cops necessitating cops move the the next step of arresting them or handcuffing htem.
I can attest to this with my own family members. My cousin (who died in a drunk driving accident) could not resist mouthing off to cops for routine traffic stops, and then he complained that cops had it in for him. Yet he's picking fghts with cops, getting into fist fights with cops. The problem was him. Even if the cop was wrong at the time of the arrest, that's something that can be adjudicated later in court. You don't start a fight with a cop and think you will solve it there. And if you do, don't be surprised to find your butt in jail.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

I think when they say "3 sets of handcuffs" what they mean is that they used 3 sets linked together, so that they were able to get his hands behind his back. I think the extra sets may have been to extend the length, not for extra restraint.

Although not positive.

AllenS said...

I agree with what Mom-Jeans just said.

hombre said...

"Bailey said the deputies have so far exercised their right as law enforcement officers not to give statements to investigators."

The law may have changed, but historically police officers had the right to decline to speak, but no right to continue to be police officers if they did so.

Perhaps the unions have changed all that, just as they have changed the nature of police work from "serve and protect" to union thuggery.

SeanF said...

Rabel, I had the same question regarding that statement. Obviously, everybody has "the right to remain silent," as it's often stated, when under legal investigation, but the wording in the article suggests that "law enforcement officers" have some kind of special right to do so.

Rabel said...

LAPD manual:

"The Hobble Restraint Device was designed to be used to secure the ankles, knees, elbows or feet of an individual who is potentially violent or displaying violent behavior by kicking, fighting, biting, punching, or thrashing about. These techniques can be varied according to the circumstances an officer may encounter, but in each instance, care should be taken to prevent injury to the arrestee. Once the Hobble Restraint Device is secured, officers shall immediately place the individual in an upright, seated position or on his/her left side (left lateral recumbent position). If this is not possible due to medical or tactical issues, then placing the individual on his/her right side is an acceptable substitute."

Chicago PD manual:

"Department members engaged in the application or use of authorized restraining devices are reminded of the dangers involved with positional asphyxia. Under no circumstances will a person being restrained have their arms and legs secured together in a fashion commonly known as "hog-tying."

If the three sets of cuffs were hands (behind the back), ankles, and the third to link the two and then they put him face down on the ground, then they killed him.

I can see why they won't make a statement.

Christopher said...

The story said that he had an aide present with him at the theater, where was the guy while this was occurring? (or did I miss that in the article)

Bryan C said...

"They could have calmly talked him out of the theater."

What's the fun in that?

"Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said Saylor cursed at the deputies, who weren’t wearing uniforms, and began hitting and kicking them. The deputies restrained him using three sets of handcuffs linked together and escorted him from the theater."

Huh? Why weren't they wearing uniforms?

Typical security guards can't physically restrain anyone, let alone wrestle them to the ground. They have to call the real police for stuff like that. Moonlighting off-duty cops apparently operate under different rules than we civilians.


Bryan C said...

"While the cops may or may not have crossed a line, the idea the victim was totally blameless may prove to be fantasy."

Remember, from the victim's perspective there were no cops in this scenario. Just two angry guys who bullied him and then dragged him out in handcuffs before suffocating him to death.

jr565 said...

"If this is not possible due to medical or tactical issues, then placing the individual on his/her right side is an acceptable substitute."



"Cpl. Jennifer Bailey, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said Saylor cursed at the deputies, who weren’t wearing uniforms, and began hitting and kicking them. The deputies restrained him using three sets of handcuffs linked together and escorted him from the theater."



IF they escorted him from the theater after he was bound, then he wasn't on his face at that point.This is where I think we get into trouble trying to second guess the cops or the situation based on limited information.

Bryan C said...

"There would need to be some witnesses with no dogs in the fight to give a clearer picture of what happened."

No dogs is good. Cops usually shoot the dogs first.

jr565 said...

At some point, Saylor ended up on the ground and began showing signs of medical distress. A short while later, he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
At some point AFTER he was escorted out of the theater, right? Meaning he was shackled, brought to his feet standing, escorted out of the theater and then fell on the ground from a standing position but after he had been shackled and then escorted out.

Bryan C said...

"That is, don't fight cops, dont provoke cops, don't talk back to cops, don't resist arrests."

Good practical advice. But this is because we have a lot of incompetent stupid cops who are nearly impossible to remove. And absolutely not because law enforcement officers are inherently deserve special deference from the public.

Cedarford said...

Bryan C - "Typical security guards can't physically restrain anyone, let alone wrestle them to the ground. They have to call the real police for stuff like that. Moonlighting off-duty cops apparently operate under different rules than we civilians."

I see you have lived a sheltered life and never seen bar bouncers in action.
Otherwise, a ignorant statement would not be made.
Non-police security can physically remove someone from premises. They can hold and detain someone until police arrive, even restrain if the person or persons are violent or try and escape if there has been a crime committed.

Private citizens may also do the same with tresspassers. Within the law.

You confuse the official police power of arrest with legal powers non-police have.
But if you can, unless trained and insured, it is a good idea to let police, insured guards or bouncers or other security handle matters.

You would be in a lot more trouble and lawsuit exposure - if you were just a movie theater staffer or ordinary ticked off patron...not in a security job with liability insurance for such altercations, who took it on himself to wrestle a hugely obese and belligerant Downs adult to the ground. And the person died like a beached whale, or the guardians sicked a lawyer on you for wrenching the "Harmless, special needs, Gentle Giant's back".

Levi Starks said...

Here's an idea,
Let him watch the show a second time like he wanted (there's no indication the show was sold out)
And then ban him from returning...
On second thought that would have been cruel. Death was probably a more humane alternative.

edutcher said...

Bryan C said...

While the cops may or may not have crossed a line, the idea the victim was totally blameless may prove to be fantasy.

Remember, from the victim's perspective there were no cops in this scenario. Just two angry guys who bullied him and then dragged him out in handcuffs before suffocating him to death.


In a world of assumptions, that one beats Evel Knievel's jump across the canyon.

Levi Starks said...

I suppose another option would have been to clear the theatre of everyone but him and then burn it to the ground. But not on purpose.

jr565 said...

Good practical advice. But this is because we have a lot of incompetent stupid cops who are nearly impossible to remove. And absolutely not because law enforcement officers are inherently deserve special deference from the public.

If you know this, or assume this, then you should be even more responsible when dealing with cops so that you don't get in trouble for their mistakes.
But I think a little deference should be in order. Cops should treat those they pull over with deference and those they pull over should do likewise. Same thing with waiters. It takes a special kind of fool to piss off the wait staff, considering they are about to serve you your food and who knows what they might put in there. WHy take the chance in pissing them off needlessly by being an ass?

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jr565 said...

Remember, from the victim's perspective there were no cops in this scenario. Just two angry guys who bullied him and then dragged him out in handcuffs before suffocating him to death.



Wasn't he there with his aide?could the aide not tell him to cooperate with the police? Or call his mom? or tell him that yes in fact they were police and not two angry guys who bullied him? Could this aide not have bought a second ticket for this guy so that cops wouldnt' have to drag him out of the theater?

jr565 said...

Young Hegelian wrote:
Oh, jeezo-peep! Couldn't the theater employee have just kept his mouth shut & let a clearly developmentally disabled person sit there & watch the movie again in peace? What did they theater think was going on -- that they were the target of a scam by the National Organization of Down's Syndrome Moviegoers?

Is there not a trace of common sense, much less human charity, left among the populace?


I've been caught sneaking into a second movie a few times, and the punishment was I had to go and buy a ticket. Why didn't the aide simply explain the situation and say he would buy a second ticket. Also, was he acting out during the movie, i.e. being disruptive during the first showing, so that people were complaining about him during the show?
That is possible too. Maybe that's why the theater wanted to have him leave.

SteveR said...

So what was this "aide" doing? Helping him by a ticket and sitting in the lobby playing Bubble Town on her I-Phone?

Obviously the police screw up too much of the time but to expect a DS person to be able to navigate life's situations without significant added risk is unrealistic. So what that ultimately the people dealing with him are found guilty of doing something wrong? He's still dead. Without the benefit of his experiences over time in public settings its hard to say if this was a completely unexpected event or forseeable in terms of his reaction to being told to leave when he did not want to. "Earth to aide Come in. Can you hear me? Hello Mom? Dad?"

Thorley Winston said...

Obviously the police screw up too much of the time but to expect a DS person to be able to navigate life's situations without significant added risk is unrealistic.


That’s a good point. I seem to recall several weeks ago that when talking about the homeless, people often make the point that a large part of the reason for chronic homelessness is that we effectively stopped (involuntarily) institutionalizing people with mental illness or substance abuse problems.


It seems to me that now when we’re talking about an adult with Down ’s syndrome (developmental disability that clearly affects behavior), a lot of people are now saying that they should have the same rights and privileges of legally competent adults but not be held responsible for their actions or for following the same rules as the rest of us and in fact it is somehow the fault of proprietors and law enforcement for treating them the way that any of us would be treated if we acted that way.


I get that people are upset over the tragic and unfortunate death of this fellow (although I’m still reserving judgment on who is to blame given the way the story is being spun) but am I really the only one who sees a problem with this disconnect?



Revenant said...

If you're not prepared for the person you are calling the police for to be seriously hurt or even killed don't call the police.

Good advice.

EMD said...

Just think, if the theater would have offered to buy him another ticket they could have had a nice feel-good PR-worthy news story, instead of Handcuffed Down Syndrome Guy Dies Outside Your Establishment headlines.

Revenant said...

He is someone with special needs who is being belligerent when being escorted out of a theater

Police say he was being belligerent, at least. But police routinely lie about stuff like that, so why believe them? Let's see some evidence of this belligerence, yes?

Revenant said...

This is where I think we get into trouble trying to second guess the cops or the situation based on limited information.

The reason for the "limited information" is that the police are refusing to discuss what happened.

Police should be treated the same as non-police. If it came to light that you had "restrained" a "belligerent" person who suddenly wound up dead in your custody, and you refused to discuss what had happened to him, what you happen to you?

You'd be sitting in a jail cell, is what would happen.

Shanna said...

The story said that he had an aide present with him at the theater, where was the guy while this was occurring? (or did I miss that in the article)

That is my question. Also why couldn’t the aide just have bought another ticket?

"Bailey said the deputies have so far exercised their right as law enforcement officers not to give statements to investigators."
WTF?

Right there with ya on that one.

Here's an idea, if you don't want to be treated like a criminal learn how to deal with cops so that they don't treat you like one.

Well that’s a great idea for you and me, but this is not someone with developmental problems. Which the cops would have known simply by looking at him. That should make them more careful of him (and cops in general are too prone to expect deference even when you have broken no laws, just because they're cops - so benefit of the doubt here tends to go against them).

Michael K said...

" I'm sure some are absolutely miserable bastards, probably in roughly the same percentage as the rest of the population."

Well, your experience may exceed mine. I've only dealt with a few hundred. One problem that arises is after the parents die and the Downs kid is in his/her 40s.

Congenital anomalies are common and I've operated on hundreds. As I say, your experience no doubt exceeds mine.

Shanna said...

Sorry, this IS someone with developmental problems. And not hidden ones either. The cops knew this.

You'd be sitting in a jail cell, is what would happen.

Damn straight. After watching LAPD actively shooting at anybody in a truck last week, I'm not willing to give the cops the benefit of the doubt here. They sure wouldn't give it to me.

Palladian said...

I'm surprised that, being modern American police, they didn't just set fire to the theater.

Palladian said...

The cops just got caught up in the "Zero Dark Thirty" vibe in the theater... dubbed themselves Mall Team Six and eliminated their target. Those brave citizen soldiers should be given medals!

Pogo said...

Another late-term-abortion-of-a-genetic-anomaly story already?

And does this involve Catholics in some way, badly?


Pogo said...

I say he committed suicide while in custody. He looks really depressed in the newspaper picture.

Pogo said...

Is this one of those Obamacare Death Panels I've heard so much about?

jr565 said...

Shanna wrote:
Sorry, this IS someone with developmental problems. And not hidden ones either. The cops knew this.

Knowing that you might HAVE developmental problems doesn't mean you'll know how to deal with someone who is acting out becuase of his developmental problems. Since, developmental problems could mean anything.

bagoh20 said...

Once a big supporter of the police, I now fear few things as much as their arrival where I am. They seem simultaneous the most powerful, heavily armed, and least predictable people in society. I just don't trust either the training nor the people because of a kind of pack psychology that takes over. They live in a culture of horror stories that makes the citizens a scary group of potential cop killers, or assholes needing a an attitude adjustment.

I have done a complete 180 with my attitude about cops in the last 5 years. Regardless of the individuals, they are dangerous and dishonest as a pack.

bagoh20 said...

To be fair I should say they are often dangerous and dishonest as a pack.

I don't have personal experience that informs me, but the stats and examples in the press are pretty indicative of a serious problem.

Shanna said...

Knowing that you might HAVE developmental problems doesn't mean you'll know how to deal with someone who is acting out becuase of his developmental problems.

Then call somebody and get some advice. Look for the aide worker. Call the guys parents. Anything is better than killing him, don't you think?

Michael K said...

"I have done a complete 180 with my attitude about cops in the last 5 years. Regardless of the individuals, they are dangerous and dishonest as a pack. "

After reading Conrad Black's book, I have done the same with the entire legal system. Two of my kids are lawyers and I don't think I would trust them any more than the others.

Sorry, kids.

CEO-MMP said...

My god jr--what police department are you the official flack for?

CEO-MMP said...

jr says:

Knowing that you might HAVE developmental problems doesn't mean you'll know how to deal with someone who is acting out becuase of his developmental problems. Since, developmental problems could mean anything.



That's just stupid. Actually it's ignorant. Look at the guy's picture.

Stop being in such a hurry to tongue wash every police dick in the country.

CEO-MMP said...

bagoh20 said...

To be fair I should say they are often dangerous and dishonest as a pack.

I don't have personal experience that informs me, but the stats and examples in the press are pretty indicative of a serious problem.


You were right the first time. Honest decent cops are now the anomaly.

MadisonMan said...

Typical security guards can't physically restrain anyone, let alone wrestle them to the ground. They have to call the real police for stuff like that. Moonlighting off-duty cops apparently operate under different rules than we civilians.

Yes. How were they operating? As off-duty policemen -- that is, citizens -- or what?

It seems like the Theater Owners have exposed themselves to considerable liability. They hired the goons that killed someone who did nothing but pilfer.

Eustace Chilke said...

I can't imagine what it would take to make me call the cops. Every sensible person these days hates and fears policemen. Off duty policemen. Even ex policemen. There's an element of thuggery rising in the whole gang of them. And gang is the applicable word.

Inga said...

But when the cops were beating and tear gassing Occupy protesters, they were the cat's meow, hmmmm?

Pogo said...

Inga can never just agree that something is bad, but must also make it a partisan dig.

DCS said...

Investigation is ongoing, and I hope that the police are not swayed by emotionalism. There can't be two sets of standards for behavior in public. If a person with a disability acts out in a theater I don't think the police are obligated to walk away. I'd like to know why the aide wasn't able to handle the young man. I suspect because he was out of control and used to getting his own way. A toddler who weighs 200 pounds would be quite a handful.

Thorley Winston said...

Regardless of what one thinks of the police in general, I am even more mistrustful of what passes for “news coverage” particularly when it’s a highly charged issue. I would encourage those who are rushing to condemn these police officers to remember the lesson that we all learned from the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman shooting. Right now there is very little hard information available and the first stories out of the gate seem to be constructing a narrative that unfortunately may shape future coverage.

There’s a reason why the court of public opinion is inadequate for criminal trials. The self-appointed “gatekeepers” of the information that we receive are ultimately driven by the number of clicks on their webpages or eyeballs on their copy or broadcasts. The more compelling of a “story” they construct, the higher their ratings, number of readers, etc. Getting it right is often a (distant) secondary consideration to getting it first.

Reserve judgment. Let the facts play themselves out.