WaPo policy: withholding names of public servants that are homicide suspects

Fairfax jail inmate in Taser death was shackled – The Washington Post

The Post is not naming the deputies involved because they are the subject of a criminal investigation and no ruling has been made on McKenna’s cause of death.

via Fairfax jail inmate in Taser death was shackled – The Washington Post.


Homicide suspects that aren’t on the public payroll get their names in newspapers and onto newscasters’ lips ridiculously fast, even if the reasons the police consider them suspects are conspicuous figments of their imaginations.

It shouldn’t be that each of us has to watch the mainstream media like a hawk, finding organizations that will help us keep straight which publications can be trusted, and which can’t.

One of the organizations I use to sort the good from the bad is Fair.org, which pointed out to me this morning that the Washington Post had recently given Fairfax County, Virginia another pass on identifying a murderer on the public payroll:

AT POINT-BLANK range, a Fairfax County police officer a year ago fired one shot, killing an unarmed man standing inside his home. The man, John Geer, was distraught and had been drinking — his longtime girlfriend had moved out and called police when he threw her things into the front yard — but he held no hostages, brandished no weapons and, so far as we have learned, posed no serious threat either to police or to public order.

WaPo goes to great lengths to explain incidents of excessive force, so much so that one tends to forget they haven’t named the perpetrators.

Not naming known perpetrators is an abuse of editorial discretion.

Under similar circumstances, the Miami Herald named as many homicide suspects on the public payroll as they could.

Doing so is absolutely necessary to the protection of whistleblowers, like inmate Harold Hempstead and psychotherapist George Mallinckrodt.

Despite the Miami Herald‘s efforts, investigations are stalled … Rick Scott placed a gag order on corrections investigators, which puts Hempstead in mortal danger. Please help Hempstead out by signing this petition, and please read Mallinckrodt’s book so you’ll have a clearer understanding of what’s going on. Thank you.

Getting Away With Murder


About Susan Chandler

Now-disabled interior/exterior designer dragged into battling conviction corruption from its periphery in a third personal battle with civil public corruption.
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