Re: And Again

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Don't worry, there's still a chance they'll indict the real criminal, Brown's stepfather.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:25 PM
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At least the NYPD fired the guy? (I think I read that.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:27 PM
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Bloomberg probably hired him as a security guard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:31 PM
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I think I read that

No, it says that he could face discipline, up to firing, from the NYPD.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:32 PM
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Honestly, I thought he was going to get indicted. The rumor or "sources say" or whatever is that it was 23 jurors with 15 being black or hispanic. My understanding is that they only need 12 to indict?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:43 PM
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The linked Antonio French comment is certainly correct and I look forward to Congress acting promptly.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:44 PM
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I thought he was going to get indicted

Ruled a homicide, using a banned hold, Garner saying "I can't breathe*" and the whole thing is on video. Once again, the cop was given a chance to testify before the grand jury. I'd love to see the transcript of those proceedings. Is this the new MO, that you don't even let it go to trial, and scuttle it while you have full control of the process?

* I know people feign illness, but they do it because it's something you have to check, even if you think they're bullshitting.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:52 PM
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Here's another tweet for you.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:55 PM
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I just don't get what you're supposed to tell your kids. Don't worry, son, if they murder you, people will work really hard to prove you deserved it. I can't make sense of this -- what the hell did they tell the jury?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:56 PM
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Is this the new MO, that you don't even let it go to trial, and scuttle it while you have full control of the process?

It appears so. And if so, I don't see how it can be addressed, per the OP's linked tweet from Antonio French, on a national level, by national leadership. Aren't the grand juries in operation here functioning at a state level? Or am I confused about this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 1:59 PM
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I've posted this elsewhere, but I may as well bring it up here as well: in rural Kentucky, in April, cops raided a "field party" where they suspected (correctly) that underage drinking was occurring. One teenage girl got into her car and tried to drive away to avoid being arrested. An officer jumped onto the hood of her (slow moving) car and ordered her to stop. When she failed to do so, he fired four shots through her windshield, killing her. All four shots hit her in the chest. (His story, which was disputed by multiple witnesses, is that she struck him with her car which threw him onto her hood, at which point she accelerated which made him fear for his life.)

I mention all this because in November, a grand jury decided not to indict the officer. And this was an unarmed teenage white girl. So, it's worth recognizing that it's not all about racism. Of course, to a very large extent it *is* about racism--I'm really not trying to minimize that. But maybe it's just very hard to indict a cop who claims to be doing his job.

Regardless, it's all beyond outrageous.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:03 PM
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Guy who filmed it got indicted though. So that's good.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:04 PM
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They were never going to get a murder charge and they shouldn't because it's not a murder. But I thought for sure they were going to come back with second degree manslaughter. For that charge you only need "recklessly causes the death of another person." For reckless you need to clear "aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk...The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation."

What, or at least I thought, was going to get him was these three things in conjunction, which IMO gets you to the above charge.

1. There's video showing him using a chokehold.
2. The ME says the chokehold one of the causes for the death.
3. Chokeholds have been explicitly banned by NYPD police for like 20 years.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:04 PM
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what you're supposed to tell your kids.

"If a police officer speaks to you, move slowly, do nothing that could remotely be interpreted as startling or frightening, and remember at all times that they're edgy, stressed out people carrying loaded guns."

Or that's what I've told mine. Being glowingly white is probably protective, but they spend a lot of time walking around Harlem (where their school is) with non-white friends. Sally's crowd are already adult-looking late teens, and Newt's are getting tall this year.

You shouldn't have to be afraid of the police, but that speech is what my parents told me in the eighties (my mother was demographically prejudiced against NYC cops, as being mostly the boys she'd gone to high school with), and I think it's still apposite.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:05 PM
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13 sounds precisely right to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:06 PM
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...and remember at all times that they're edgy, stressed out people carrying loaded guns.

Like family reunions. Got it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:09 PM
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14: "and they might shoot you anyway."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:09 PM
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15, 13: Yeah. This one was a surprise.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:11 PM
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To be uncharacteristically perky and cheerful on this issue, do we have any kind of trend data on dubious police killings/shooting? The outrage is justified, whatever the trend is, but it seems plausible to me that it's not getting worse, people just have better tools to kick up a fuss (mostly cell phone video and social media).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:13 PM
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We don't even have good raw counts of police shootings, I thought.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:17 PM
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Yeah, my guess that they're probably down is just based on crime generally being so far down.

But yeah, for federal action I would like federal collection of data on literally every bullet fired by the police in the course of duty, nationwide, and what happened as a result, as well as on any non-firearms-related injuries inflicted.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:19 PM
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My assumption is that the rate has not gotten worse.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:25 PM
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Wasn't there a link about how police killings of black men is just about the same rate as lynchings, a hundred years ago? A bit glib but I'll trot it out all the same.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:26 PM
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19, 21: I think that came up recently and I thought the best available info people were pointing to there suggested that police shootings were basically holding steady in nominal terms, so declining over population but on the rise over crime. But I could be misremembering and can't find the discussion on a quick look.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:28 PM
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I think I both agree and disagree. I think the higher profile of this stuff is 90% about social media, and I doubt that the absolute number of these incidents has gone up by much. But, compared with general crime rates, I think killer cops are a much higher percentage of homicides than they used to be. Why? Because A. training seems very strongly to have trended towards "if you feel any risk whatsoever, shoot to kill", B. SWAT tactics are clearly more lethal than standard policing tactics, and they've skyrocketed, and C. it's pretty obvious that, for all practical purposes, a cop in modern America simply cannot be convicted merely for killing a civilian.

I don't see how you can combine A, B, & C and not get a killer cop rate that is, at the bare minimum, rising relative to the general crime/murder rates. I mean, shit, we have 2 cop homicides in NYC this year, right? And the murder rate for the city is literally 5-10% of what it was 40 years ago. So unless there used to be 20-40 killings by cops every year of the '70s....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:32 PM
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19, 20, 21 -- There's a lot of really good information here. Scroll down past the Ferguson posts.

Overall, the rate of police shootings (which are deemed "justified," there's not an easy way of picking out dubious but deemed-justified shootings) has in fact increased (nationally) since 1998, though the increase is not enormous. That's with an overall (national) homicide rate remaining basically stable over that time. So there's real evidence that more people are getting killed by police shootings.

The departments with the highest rates of deadly "deemed justified" police shootings are, perhaps surprisingly, largely Republican-controlled smaller cities in California. Riverside, CA is way way off the charts the leader, in a way that seems inexplicable on its face to me. Other places you'd might think of as having aggressive racially-biased policing are not very high. Blacks are about (nationally) 4 times as likely to be shot by police than whites. But Blacks are substantially more likely than that to be shot by a non-police officer and live in dangerous areas, so it's not clear that the relative increase in police shooting is particularly driven by racism per se, at least nationally, as opposed to something else.

It's not listed in the link above, but my understanding is that the large majority of poilce officers still spend their entire careers without discharging their weapons, once. And the rough analysis described above doesn't control for danger in any given situation or demonstrate that any individual use of force was proper or improper.

On the Garner thing, it would be nice to have more public information. But I don't see how this one, unlike Ferguson, gets a legitimate non-indict on a manslaughter charge. The chokehold is barred by NYPD policy, so how can it be reasonable use of force in making an arrest to use it? I don't understand that.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:35 PM
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Moby had a link with a chart that showed 24, IIRC.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:39 PM
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Moby had a link with a chart that showed 24, IIRC.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:39 PM
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I'll recall it again, I'm not proud. Or tired.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:40 PM
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I did. But I can't find it again.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:40 PM
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I did. But I can't find it again.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:41 PM
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I did. But I can't find it again.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:41 PM
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The departments with the highest rates of deadly "deemed justified" police shootings are, perhaps surprisingly, largely Republican-controlled smaller cities in California.

I am unsurprised by that as a pure stereotype about California police. I don't have any real basis for this, it's just things I've heard said over the years, but I have a stereotype of California police specifically as much more authoritarian/willing to become violent than the national police norm.

(I've mentioned this before, I think, but again appealing to my parents as the voice of history, they strongly approved of the NYPD's handling of riots in the 60's as opposed to, say, the LA or the Chicago police. The NYPD were much more willing to "Don't just do something, stand there!" and, while they weren't perfect, were less likely to inflame a situation than police in other areas.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:43 PM
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I have a stereotype of California police specifically as played by Michael Muhney.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:48 PM
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California police forces consist of violent Australians, former drovers, and Eric Estrada.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:50 PM
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26: I don't actually know anything about NY law relating to grand juries specifically, but I think I've seen somewhere that proceedings are confidential so they can't do the same sort of information dump the MO prosecutor did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:56 PM
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Yeah, somewhere I saw the DA saying he's barred by law from releasing grand jury info but has applied for an exception due to exceptional circumstances. I don't remember where I saw it, but the way the story was phrased made it seem like a reasonable possibility (like, there's an exception codified in the statute, he didn't just make it up).


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 2:58 PM
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California police forces consist of violent Australians, former drovers, and Eric Estrada

I laughed at that. Too young for Jack Webb/Martin Milner?

||

Drum's got a "meta" post up now about the difficulty of using the current outrages: Ferguson, Ray Rice and UVa/Rolling Stone, as illustrations of the problems we want them to stand for.

This was the first intimation I've seen that the UVa story may be falling apart. Since many of us took that story for fact and reacted accordingly, this is disconcerting to say the least.

|>


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:03 PM
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It doesn't sound like it's "falling apart" at all. I read the various articles that impression is supposed to be based on, and they all come down to: she didn't contact the perps. Maybe she should have (or maybe not!), but it doesn't throw the whole story into doubt. The reporter is no newbie trying to make a mark.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:07 PM
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Don't necessarily buy the rate statistics by city from 26--if you plot the rate vs population it has much larger variation as you go to lower pop--indicating that even for the 13 year sample you are running into partition stuff.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:10 PM
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I'm relieved to read 39.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:11 PM
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Drum's post reads like concern trolling.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:15 PM
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Am I the only person troubled by 11?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:16 PM
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This is the article questioning the UVA story.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:17 PM
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43: No. I just didn't have anything to add.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:18 PM
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38: What reaction would you take back if it were false? I think most people reacted with horror and by thinking about how universities and fraternities handle sexual assault. Even if it's a patently false story, unless you just rescinded a multimillion dollar donation to UVa, I'm not sure what changes. Less horror? It's not as if it makes fraternities safe places to be a drunk coed, nor does it mean that UVa has great policies in place to investigate and punish sexual assault.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:20 PM
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No, urple, though you could have highlighted that she's white and blonde. (And I'd disagree that it's "in rural Kentucky," though the specific party location was and the party was also racially mixed, at least in terms of black men/white women.) But I have some very indirect ties to her via the foster care world and I've been watching the case and talking about it with people locally, at least.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:23 PM
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44: There are a couple other places questioning the story. WaPo and Slate have stories about Ederly's not having interviewed the accusers or trying hard enough to find them, implying the story might not be reliable. Also, I think the Slate rundown links a skeptical article in Reason.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:24 PM
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46: The story was, in its details, even worse than my extremely negative beliefs about the status of frats at a place like UVA, and the rape details were more sociopathic than what I'd expect.

If the story's false/greatly exaggerated, it doesn't change my preƫxisting beliefs, but it would revert me to them.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:29 PM
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44 may be one of the most ludicrous debunkings I've ever seen of anything. The reporter didn't interview the guy named as the rapist and therefore the story as recounted may not be entirely true? Ooooh sick burn. OK, stipulated, we should never accept everything you we read in a news article as necessarily reflecting gospel truth. Agreed, I think we can all agree that this story was told from the victim's perspective. What does that mean here? Does the "debunking" provide any substantial reason to doubt the story, or any countervailing evidence at all? No. And then the debunking still says that by a "preponderance of the evidence" (shut up, you non-lawyer moron, I hate this phrase, you have seen no evidence) there's a horrible rape culture at UVA. OK then. Plus the article is basically "hey the New Republic was once punked by Steven Glass and we're the New Republic so maybe the story was made up!"

I mean, maybe the original UVA story was made up, I doubt that, but it's possible. It's always possible. I have no idea. But it's just irresponsible to publish a "hey maybe this thing was made up" without more. Sad that Drum is relying on that.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:30 PM
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43: I read it, but I have nothing smart to say about this or many of the other cases. It's awful and wasteful and heartbreaking. I just don't have anything to add. I don't know anything other than what I've read about policing tactics. I know people who've been hassled unfairly, but not violently. I don't live in a lot of these worlds (old enough not to be a "kid," white, quiet, rarely interact with law enforcement), so it seems silly to weigh in.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:30 PM
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46:

Picking up on what Wendy Kaminer suggests at the end of the first linked article, "I'd guess that the story is neither entirely fabricated nor entirely true," I would answer that it depends on which parts are true and which aren't.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:31 PM
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And I'd disagree that it's "in rural Kentucky," though the specific party location was

Oops, yes, that's what I meant.

you could have highlighted that she's white and blonde

I thought I did.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:34 PM
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There were blonde highlights.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:37 PM
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Well, not blonde. But white. (What does blond matter?)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:37 PM
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55: Sorry, I was just being obnoxious in general, not really meaning to chastise you. Blonde, white, and barely legal (well, 19) is better than regular white. And by "not rural" I just meant that these a police who cover a high-density somewhat racially mixed area (more white/Latino than black, though some of that too) as well as the county backroads.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:42 PM
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There are a bunch of issues with the UVa story:

1. When you fairly clearly identify and label someone as a gang rapist, journalistic standards say that you should at least ask that person for comment. I think basic fairness dictates that before you write "X gang raped Y" you should at least ask X for comment.

2. She tells a horrific story and makes it appear that Jackie told that same story to UVa and they didnt respond. There appears to be some question about what Jackie told UVa. (Im not clear as to what even Jackie claims she told them.)

3. Jackie's story isn't "they drugged me and then raped me." It is that it was a planned initiation where she was gang raped while she was sober, including with a bottle.

there are other problems as well.

The article could have been limited to what she told UVa and UVa's lame response. If UVa's honor code means anything, it should mean when a person shows up alleging gang rape, that should be priority number one for the University to do something about.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:42 PM
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It's interesting, in the way that despair-inducing things can be interesting, that a lot of the proposed technocratic/policy fixes being proposed in light of Ferguson would not have made a difference here (in particular, as someone just mentioned in my Facebook feed, requiring body cameras). The copy was doing something against established procedure, caused a death, and was caught on tape doing it, and it still isn't enough.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:46 PM
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Further:

If it turns out that Jackie never claimed to have told UVa that entire story, but RS makes it seem like she did, then it just undercuts the story unnecessarily.

For me, I have been more focused on the Liz Seccuro part of the story. She shows up with broken ribs and cuts, and UVa's response is lame. When a first year student shows up with broken ribs claiming to have been drugged and raped at a fraternity, I expect UVa to take swift action to find out what happened. Something needed to be done.

One guy, Beebe, confessed years later, and it turns out she had been raped by three men. I know that Beebe didnt return to school the next year. RS makes it appear nothing happened, but it might have been that they pressured him to leave? Once again, the article's accuracy maybe leaves something to be desired.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:50 PM
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We must look to national leadership in My Blue Heaven, NYC, with a firmly progressive mayor, a Democratic governor, two Democratic Senators and a majority Democratic House delegation? Really? Because Boehner and McConnell are now the go-to guys for this sort of thing? Or because Holder can come to New York and lecture de Blasio on racial sensitivity?

C'mon. And sorry to be snippy but that is even less impressive than my reaction, which is OMG WTF.

Nick Gillespie at Reason is at least beating the drums for de-criminalizing a few more things. Garner was being busted for selling untaxed cigarettes ("loosies"), and don't we all feel safer because of it? Well. That sort of decriminalization would be a local or state decision.


Posted by: Tom Maguire | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:51 PM
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"sorry to be snippy"

Pastries, motherfucker.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 3:58 PM
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59: I think going with things like "if it turns out the story misrepresented things, it will have misrepresented things" and "maybe UVa pressured a rapist to leave school once upon a time--it hasn't claimed to have done so, but maybe it did!--and if so the story was unfair for failing to mention this purely hypothetical event" is maybe not the strongest indictment of the article's accuracy.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:00 PM
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62 - Nuh-uh, because Duke Lacrosse.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MRA INTERNET | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:06 PM
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First, I am really glad that the RS article has generated these conversations and it does not bother me one bit that it is UVa. It is an extremely important story, and one that could be told at almost any school. For the University community who places such pride on our Honor Code, we should be ashamed.

But, second, the main part of the article is that Jackie was gang raped by Drew and his fraternity brothers, she told UVa what happened, and they did nothing.

When an article fairly clearly identifies someone, and claims that they committed an extremely heinous act, I think you should at least ask them to comment. If they left out the identifying details, I wouldn't care.

Third, I think the article should have specified what she told UVa. RS glossed over that. It is an important detail upon which to judge UVa.

I just think the article became a piece of advocacy, and wasn't exactly committed to factual accuracy. (Not that it matters, but a close family member is actively involved in helping sexual assault victims in that town.)


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:15 PM
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27, etc:This on Police Shootings from Wapo?

I linked it first, and then Moby posted because nobody reads my comments or follows my links, and because Moby wanted to show me I wasn't needed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:19 PM
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50: As with the Ferguson grand jury, the Rolling Stone article was absolutely fucked, process-wise. The reporter won't even say whether she possesses the names of the alleged rapists, though given the nature of the story, it's obvious that at least some of the names were easily available to her.

Criminal justice and journalism have well-established methods for establishing facts. Those methods often fail, but if you choose not to follow them, you're inviting skepticism.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:23 PM
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Hey guys I think I found the police shootings link we were referring to upthread.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:24 PM
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Oops 67 me.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:25 PM
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When an article fairly clearly identifies someone, and claims that they committed an extremely heinous act, I think you should at least ask them to comment.

This is way overstated. When (as here) your source asks you specifically not to confirm (for fear of retribution and exposure), you use that to get the information from your source, and you do a reasonable background check to make sure that the piece is likely accurate, you're fine. Newspapers do this all the time, and couldn't use a lot of sources wiif they didn't. The article is quite clearly and explicitly written from the victim's perspective. Media articles are allowed to do that. I'm not going to go back and check but IIRC the Rolling Stone piece explicitly said that the perps had not been contacted. That's fine. An investigatory media article is not a trial or a legal pleading and there is no requirement to give equal weight to all possible sides.

If there was some specific reason to believe that something in the RS article is false, we should be discussing that. Is there? If the point is that the RS article missed something (what she told UVA) that may be a significant detail, this is true of every news story about everything ever.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:28 PM
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When (as here) your source asks you specifically not to confirm (for fear of retribution and exposure)

Except that enough details were given that "Drew" was clearly exposed by the article as published. If a source tells you that you can out someone publicly, but can't talk to them, that renders the source suspect. It's certainly a fact that shouldn't have been hidden from readers.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:34 PM
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65: You have to know how to sell them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:34 PM
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When (as here) your source asks you specifically not to confirm (for fear of retribution and exposure), you use that to get the information from your source,

There is a huge difference bt saying "she was gang raped by X" and "she was gang raped, but we aren't going to name them for fear of retribution and exposure." Do you not agree? One is a story about a victim's experience there is no need for verifying whether it took place. The other is RS saying "it happened this way" without following basic journalistic procedures.

RS identified one guy as a third year in a specific fraternity who worked as a life guard at the university pool.

The article appears to cut enough corners to invite skepticism. When her story is as horrific as it is, I think RS did the issue a disservice and may ultimately cause some damage.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:40 PM
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So who is Drew? Let's ask him for comment. That'll be enlightening.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 4:54 PM
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I can almost guarantee that RS had considerable background evidence in addition to simply the victim's tale, which they reviewed before publication. That seems to me like more than enough in this kind of situation. In addition, there has been no request from the identified party (and we're not sure about the details of the identification) for a retraction. The hand-wringing over this doesn't seem consistent with media practice I've seen in other cases.

On a practical level, would it have made a difference to you if the article had said "The person identified as Drew has not responded to requests to comment" or "The person identified as Drew denies all involvement and claims the details are entirely fabricated."


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:16 PM
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It worries me a little that the Rolling Stone article is so perfectly what I expect the worst case to be -- it's nearly the Buffy episode with the snake demon, ffs. And yet there are pretty-bad cases that I know something about directly and am surprised by, because surely that only happens in horror stories.

tl;dr -- I wish I trusted the justice system.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:20 PM
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72 and many others.

The names of the alleged rapists at UVa are all over the internet, if you choose to look. They were all over the RS comments until RS deleted the posts. (Mind you, the names were apparently inferred from Facebook, student directories and such but they are pretty plausible; e.g., lifeguards, freshmen or whatever -- pledges at the fraternity, etc.)

The deficiencies in the story that have been called out elsewhere include the idea that a half-dozen sober fraternity aspirant pledges would plan this in advance, that it was a standard "initiation" rite, that someone could be raped on broken glass without any medical issues, that her friends would dissuade an injured, bleeding person from going to the hospital, that all this could happen without anyone talking about it or opting out of the rape (in her story one guy tried to but was taunted into continuing).

I think Drum's point, which I agree with, is that it has too many implausibilities to be taken seriously as a whole. I am perfectly willing to accept that she was raped, but a lot of the rest sounds like fabulation, and as such just contributes to the "women lie" trope that is all too common.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:24 PM
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that her friends would dissuade an injured, bleeding person from going to the hospital

That's not unlikely. (Personal experience.) Insisting that she go is also not unlikely. Whichever alleviates the social anxiety of a drunk teen, they will hold to it buckle and thong.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:29 PM
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74: That's the right question, and yes, it would matter. For one thing, it would assure us that the author respected basic journalistic norms. (Again, I find the comparison the the Ferguson prosecutor irresistible, analogy ban be damned!)

What we have instead is an author who comes pretty close to acknowledging that she failed to seek out Drew because doing so might blow up the whole story. If Jackie is entirely trustworthy (as one supposes she is), it's still troubling that Erdely is not. What other norms did Erdely violate?

Did Erdely take the obvious steps necessary to confirm the existence of Drew? She won't tell us. That doesn't look good.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:32 PM
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The deficiencies in the story that have been called out elsewhere include ...

I really dislike this epistemic approach. Weird shit happens. In fact, shit is pretty much always weird to people who lack direct knowledge, and often to those who have it.

If I were convinced that the reporting was sound, I wouldn't have any trouble buying the story.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:39 PM
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Getting back to the OP for a moment, this case seems to have none of the ambiguities of the Ferguson case. The only defenses are "I didn't mean to kill him by applying an illegal chokehold," and "Maybe something else was the real cause of his death." It seems like an utter slam-dunk for manslaughter.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:39 PM
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79. Sure, weird shit happens. But to believe the story as told by Jackie you have to believe that the fraternity somehow managed to recruit seven potential pledges who were all rapists, plan the gang-rape in advance, and carry it out without anyone backing out in spite of covering the floor with broken glass.

I also honestly don't believe that "social anxiety" explains how Jackie's friends all showed no interest in her plight except as it might apply to hypothetical future social interactions.

Maybe I've lived a sheltered life.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:46 PM
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You've apparently lived a more sheltered life than I have, and I would think that would take some doing.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:55 PM
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Maybe I've lived a sheltered life.

There was a follow-up Rolling Stone story that was basically published comments from people who wrote in after seeing the original. One was along the lines of "I went to UVA in the 80s and there was a frat then, too, that we called 'the coke-bottle rapists.' I wonder if these are their kids."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:57 PM
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Frat hazing fairly often kills *pledges*, why is it surprising to think they'll rape an outsider? History's full of groups who had enough power to enjoy rape without worrying about it.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:58 PM
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there was a frat then, too, that we called 'the coke-bottle rapists.' I wonder if these are their kids."

Okay, now someone really does need to check for a snake demon.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 5:59 PM
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I almost don't have an opinion about this one, because my unmediated reaction tracked DaveLMA's -- the story is too horrifying to be believed. The coldblooded planning? The presumption of impunity (that is, the rapists were either insane or sure no one was going to punish them)? The completely unhelpful friends? I won't disbelieve it, because I know I have led a sheltered life, and this is way outside my experience to evaluate. But I can't subjectively believe it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:15 PM
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Snake demon, sure, that'd reconcile everything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:17 PM
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And those sloppy journalists didn't even get one quote from an actual snake. Disgraceful.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:20 PM
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83:

I saw a lot of comments of people saying "I was raped too" or "my friend was raped" or "everyone knew not to pass out in a fraternity."

All of those are REALLY bad things. Securro was a year ahead me. We have mutual friends. The school's response to her was bad. I am ashamed that my University and the University as a community didn't say long ago that "if the honor code means anything, then people should be able to pass out without getting raped." That seems fairly basic.

I don't remember hearing about her story. There was another case where an fraternity guy was accused of raping a girl. Everyone knew his name. He disputed it. It seemed like there was some kind of school judicial procedure. He was still in school, but everyone I knew believed that her over him.

Times were different in the 80s as well. Girls were not supposed to admit that they wanted to get laid.That attitude lends itself to people doubting women saying that she was raped bc of course a woman wouldn't say she wanted to get drunk and fuck some random guy.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:22 PM
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81: the whole floor doesn't have to be covered in glass like a 1971 stooges concert to meet the description. and yeah, you've led a sheltered life. I have personally not gone to the hospital on some shit I really, really should have, because everyone was like '...eh...we're so wasted it would be such a hassle. what if we have to talk to the cops...fuck...I'm probably fine right?' and would frat bros agree to straight rape a sober girl at a party where everyone else was drunk, in a dark room, confident that her possible, assumed-by-all drunkenness would be enough to cover their asses? I refer you to every college rape case ever. finally, the main questioning article is some ripe-ass reason-magazine "this doesn't sound like how a person would act when she got raped. something just sounds...off to me" from a 47-year-old white-guy bullshit. k-dro got trolled.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:28 PM
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look, could there be possible reporting problems? yes, but no worse that in any well-researched article. the author is not a noob, she interviewed multiple people, she gave an interview to a second news source about her fact-checking process--the "it couldn't be as bad as all that!" is coming largely from libertarians and commenter @63.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:31 PM
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to the OP: what does a fucking cop have to do to get charged with manslaughter? shoot a baby in the face?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:33 PM
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92 - Sufficient for an indictment but not a conviction.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:38 PM
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Let's talk about journalistic "norms" (which are mostly nonbinding fictions invented by J-school professors anyway, but still). I personally have seen cases like this where there are reasons to not contact the party being written about and/or strong reason to believe that the target won't talk or say anything useful and contacting the target will hurt the source or the story. It's not that unusual. Admittedly, I'm a lawyer so I only see things when there's legitimate worry about crossing a line, but still. Can't talk about a specific case, but maybe it's helpful to know that in general, for tabloids, when they write a mildly negative celebrity story, the absolutely standard MO is to contact the celebrity's representatives (if at all) a few hours before publication while saying something like "this goes to press in 4 hours, any comment?" The article gets printed even if no comment is made, because it's Saturday morning and the celebrity is asleep. This is in a situation where there's no concern whatsoever from the source about contacting the target. For actually sensitive stories, it's not unusual at all for a reporter to publish allegations only without an interview with the other side (so long as there's lots of other confirmation). "You must interview all sides to a rape accusation or obtain a specific denial or refusal to comment or you can't publish at all" is not an actually-existing norm consistent with journalism more broadly and frankly it feels to me like a bit of special pleading for the UVA frat members. Is it best practice to get comments or denials from everyone involved? Absolutely, if you can. Do you need to in order to publish in absolutely every and all circumstance? No. Do we know what RS investigated, what attempts they made to contact people, and what is in their investigatory file? No.

If RS did no more than tape-record the story from the victim and publish it verbatim without doing any further examination or investigation, and had nothing but her word for it, it would totally be different -- then I would agree they shouldn't have published in the way they did. I don't know, but I can almost guarantee that this is not what they did. Instead, it's likely that they got a bunch of other confirming reports to bolster the victim's credibility and made some attempts to discuss with members of the fraternity, which were rebuffed. That's more than fine. In any case, you really can't draw any conclusions without knowing a whole lot more about the investigation they actually did.

Could it all still be made up, and RS just got punked? Could the reporting have been terrible? Sure, but I haven't seen any real argument that this is in fact the case. Are there thing in the story that are poor characterizations, or leave out important details? Almost certainly, but the same is true for every single media article you've read today, whether or not you know it. The gang rape story didn't seem implausible at all to me, certainly not enough to be facially questionable, as has been suggested above. I haven't really seen any argument to the contrary other than "this is too horrible to be believed," which, no, it's not.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:43 PM
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At the end of the day, it doesn't matter to me if she made the entire thing up.

What I mostly care about is that if she told that story to UVa, then both the police and UVa better immediately swing into high gear to gather evidence. As in five minutes after she tells them.

"I was raped at X fraternity" should be enough to bring in everyone immediately. And if they lawyer up (as they should and have the right to do), then that fraternity can sit idle from all UVa events until the matter is cleared up. Or just maybe the University should start hiring extra alcohol enforcement people. Just freaking do something.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:46 PM
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Still, it doesn't seem fair. How come we don't get to hear the rapists' side of the story?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:51 PM
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Can't we all agree that the real victims here are libertarians?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:52 PM
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94 is basically what I think, especially 94.3.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:54 PM
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The gang rape story didn't seem implausible at all to me, certainly not enough to be facially questionable

You are a lawyer? You don't have any factual questions about this horrific story? Nothing about her version makes you have any factual questions?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 6:59 PM
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My sister has a friend at her law school who was sexually assaulted (off campus) during a break in. The administrators are not allowing her to reschedule a mandatory exam she will have to miss in order to testify against her attacker. They are pressuring her to take a leave instead and telling her she'll never be able to pass the bar exam a year and a half(!) from now (i.e. might possibly harm their vital statistics) while also dealing with her "situation".

I bring this up because the admin used the exact same "We don't want to be known as the 'rape school'" reasoning, as allegedly used by UVA in the article, for not being willing to make much of a fuss to accommodate her.

So I currently believe THAT (totally horrifying) bit of the RS piece is at least plausible.


Posted by: Long-Time Lurker | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:00 PM
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100: Ughghghghghgh, appalling.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:02 PM
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99 --Facially, not factually. It didn't seem sufficiently implausible on its face to discredit it, certainly not to immediately assume that it is wrong.

I didn't mean that there are no fact questions you'd want to ask if you were using it as a basis for some sort of legal process or formal investigation.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:04 PM
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Well, this isn't just about you... (pushes the door the rest of the way shut) as much you'd like it to be.

Posted by: Opinionated Seeing Red Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:13 PM
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Look at this.

The Cleveland police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy last month left the police force in nearby Independence, Ohio, after an internal assessment two years ago found that he had suffered a "dangerous loss of composure" during firearms training. The officer, Tim Loehmann, is now under investigation after shooting Tamir Rice within two seconds after the patrol car in which he was riding pulled up next to the boy, who had what turned out to be a fake gun. The previous assessment, first reported by The Cleveland Plain Dealer, found that Officer Loehmann "could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal." Cleveland police officials said they had not reviewed Officer Loehmann's Independence personnel file during their hiring process, but had been told by that city's human resources director that there were no disciplinary actions against him or other incidents that they needed to be aware of.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:14 PM
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104: arrrrrrrrrrgghghghhhhhhhhh it's inarticulately appalled time again.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:20 PM
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It's even worse than that summary. But they never looked at his personnel file before hiring him.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:22 PM
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90/91: I was hoping you'd chime in.

100: I'm so sorry for your friend. I hope she has the energy to fight on both fronts. It's terrible to have to do.

95: This does not sound unbelievable to me at all. I wish it did. I don't know the facts, but I do know universities don't handle sexual assault well. Like that girl carrying her mattress at Columbia? Like discipline panels that ask victims and rapists to talk it out as a resolution? Like the child molester at Penn State? You wouldn't think any of those things could happen, but they did. At this point, I wouldn't expect any university to do even the minimum required by law if they could get away with it.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:29 PM
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107:

I completely believe that UVa utterly failed. Even if a person's story is not very believable, a University and the police should swing into action to find out what happened.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:41 PM
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With respect, will, I don't see much of a problem here w.r.t. not contacting him for the story. Surely, if there are charges and an investigation, yes, but that's not what this is. But Jackie's story is so horrific and so not even close to a borderline case that what's the expected result if the reporter calls him, instead of contacting the university, the frat, interviewing other women, etc.? He either refuses to comment, or he has to say she's lying completely -- which doesn't really add anything to the story.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:45 PM
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Prediction: Based on 106, this is the one who will be indicted, or even convicted.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:08 PM
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I remember being in college 20+ years ago and the campus women's group and alt newspaper were pushing the narrative that campus police were downplaying sexual assault* to protect the uni's reputation. I was completely naive, and not yet a feminist, so I didn't really believe it (I genuinely thought, "if a woman reports a rape to a campus cop, they'd surely follow through"). But what's weird in retrospect is that, at least as I understood it at the time, the focus was on, as Whoopi would put it, rape rape: this wasn't about out of control frats** or date rape generally (and this was right when date rape became a discussed thing), but about women being sexually assaulted in the park right beside campus.

Now, of course, I realize that I was utterly naive, and that of course campus police exist primarily to protect the rep of the school, and that the underlying allegations were almost certainly true. But it's still so odd that even the campus "radicals" (it was a very apolitical campus) were focused on low-hanging fruit, as it were.

*and also IIRC general crime rate, specifically mugging-type activity at the margins of campus

**and people did talk about that - a couple frats had reps as being rapey - but that's not what I recall this big push being about


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 8:16 PM
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You couldn't make this shit up. Rand Paul is history's worst monster.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 11:01 PM
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But remember he's very principled on foreign policy when it's politically convenient for him to be so.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 5:41 AM
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82. I suppose we could have a thread comparing how sheltered each of us has been: I killed a man in El Paso once. Well, actually it was a troll in Everquest, but you get the idea.

83. I don't doubt in the slightest that women have been raped in fraternities, even raped with coke bottles. What I find harder to believe is that a large number of sober men planned and executed an "initiation" gang-rape in the middle of a party against a victim some of them knew, and that no one talked, no one demurred, none of her friends sympathized with her, and so on. (On the other hand I can easily believe the UVa administration wimped out: it's what organizations do.)

109. That's the expected result, but maybe one of them says, "I was in New York that week and can prove it," or "God yes, it happened but I swear I just watched," or any number of other potential non-"no comment" responses. The author didn't even try. It's not a fatal weakness of the article, but it's a weakness.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 6:21 AM
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But he does make a flat out aggressive bigot and asshole like Peter "if you can't breathe, you can't talk" King seem almost refreshing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 6:26 AM
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King's other point, about Garner being obese and being in generally ill-health is the only even-a-little plausible explanation I've seen for why they might not have indicted: they didn't feel confident saying it was the chokehold, rather than the totality of the situation, combined with Garner's ill-health, that killed him. On the other hand, that could be an argument for indicting more people.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 6:43 AM
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could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal

The incredible thing is that, given the first three items, they let him have a gun...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 6:47 AM
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116. On one of the many Contrarianism.com sites (Sl*t*, maybe?) someone was suggesting that while chokeholds are prohibited by the police force, they are not literally illegal, and that's why the cop didn't get indicted. Okay then, is he still on the force? The least they could do is kick him out.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 6:51 AM
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Usually people like that have to buy their own gun.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 6:51 AM
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116: We had a patient at Bridgewater State Hospital (really a prison) who was killed when a guard got down on top of his chest to restrain him. He was initially quite paranoid but had calmed down when they went in using an unsanctioned method of restraint.

He was obese. It was totally covered up. The Medical Examiner ruled it a homicide and then changed it, and the guards all kept their jobs. The Globe did a huge expose. There were safer ways to restrain him, and they were violating the prison policies. I think that the fact that it was foreseeable that somebody in that condition would die more easily ought to have made them more culpable, not less.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 6:58 AM
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Frat hazing fairly often kills *pledges*, why is it surprising to think they'll rape an outsider?

"Fairly often" seems like an overstatement, but, relevant to the thread (in a way): when I was in college, one guy at a fraternity kept taking new pledges out into the woods, tying them to a tree, and raping them, all of which he sold as part of the "initiation", which (as part of the initiation) he made them swear to keep silent about. (To avoid confusion: none of this was actually part of any frat-sanctioned initiation activity. He was lying.) He did this to about a half-dozen guys* over several years before it finally came to light. He went to jail, but both the frat and the university went to great lengths (largely successful) to keep the whole thing very quiet.

* At least--possibly more never came forward.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:02 AM
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It's hard to believe 112 isn't the Onion.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:04 AM
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121: Oh my dear sweet lord, I'm going to hell for laughing at that. Somehow it set off the Jack Handey bit about the irascible uncle he had, who lived in a cave in the woods and got angry about everything, and would occasionally eat a child. Come to think of it, he was actually a bear.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:07 AM
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I'm really honestly not sure what's funny about that. But I don't think I've seen the relevant Jack Handey bit; maybe that would make it clear.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:10 AM
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It's not funny at all, really. Something just seemed similar about the "Trust me, this is all perfectly normal," pattern of both situations. "What, most people don't (get eaten by bears under the mistaken belief that they're family members socializing normally/get raped by fellow frat members under the mistaken impression that it's an expected part of the fraternity initiation)?"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:18 AM
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But properly, it's not funny at all, I just had a fucked up reaction to it as horrifyingly absurd rather than just horrifying.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:20 AM
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It's basically snipe hunting, but evil.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:21 AM
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I haven't gone back to the article, but did it claim the rape was part of an initiation, much less a standard one? It was clearly planned in some way and the guy was peer pressured to go on, and it happened at a frat, but that's not the same as saying it's an initiation rite.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:22 AM
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The only thing I found humorous about the situation is that I'd known the perp for several years and always thought he was a giant creep, for inchoate reasons I could never articulate, and other friends thought I was just being ridiculous and judgmental, because he was such a nice guy. Then it turns out that he's a serial rapist. Opinion validated!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:23 AM
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It's not unheard of for their to be secret societies within Greek organizations with their own rituals and hazing, some of which get turned into the sort of things urple references or what happened at my school in my first year there, which got the victims on Oprah.

I haven't reread the RS article since questions came out, nor have I really followed the complaints yet, but I will say that her story as told did not have the subtle tells I'd look for in a false or exaggerated story, though there may have been exaggeration or misremembering or I could just be wrong.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:24 AM
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116: Oh, sure, the whirling blades I installed at 6'5" off the floor lopped off his head, but in my defense, you need to consider the totality of the situation. If he hadn't been so tall, there wouldn't have been any problem. I was totally within my right to apply an analogy.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:26 AM
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128: Not really. There was some quoted dialog from the rapists suggesting that it was an organized fraternity-related activity, but I don't think 'initiation' was a specific claim.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:29 AM
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Here's the relevant bit:

Then they egged him on: "Don't you want to be a brother?" "We all had to do it, so you do, too."

You could read it as implying 'initiation', but also just as 'we're all frat brothers in this together.'


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:35 AM
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Oh, yeah, that part actually did sound questionable just in the words chosen, that there's no obscenity and so on, but I blamed the writer for putting the phrases in quotes rather than leaving them as the general gist of what was said. Someone who claimed those were the exact words (again with the understanding that it's easy to misremember something from a traumatic moment) would trip my Darren Wilson alarms more than a bit.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:44 AM
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This journalism discussion is one of those narcissism of small differences debates that we are so fond of. I thought the RS story was significantly flawed, and Ripper disagrees, but I wouldn't compare the RS reporter to a tabloid reporter, as Ripper does in 94. And surely Ripper's intent is not to say that tabloid journalism is the norm to which other journalists ought to be compared.

Moreover, I absolutely agree with will in 95:

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter to me if she made the entire thing up.

Being addicted to my Ferguson analogy, I will say that I have no interest in doing the work to develop an intelligent opinion on Brown's killing. Perfect knowledge of the degree to which his killing was justified wouldn't change my opinion on anything important regarding either the US's white supremacist police state or Ferguson's.

Likewise, the only reason I have an opinion on the RS story is that it was easy to read. Certainly the underlying reality of dangerous frat houses and corrupt college enforcement practices is well-established and isn't dependent on this story being perfectly accurate and complete.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:53 AM
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Ug. There was an op-ed in the local paper criticizing the article. The author referred to the females as "women," but kept referring to these "boys." Not adult men. But boys.

Am I wrong to feel like all black college-aged defendants are referred to as men and all white college-aged defendants are boys?


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:53 AM
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You are wrong, will, because some black college-aged defendants are STUDENT-ATHLETES! Other than that, though, yeah.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:56 AM
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Call-in from the police after they shot Tamir Rice estimated that he was about 20.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:59 AM
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138: Cynically, I wonder if the grand jury will agree with that assessment.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 8:02 AM
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Back in my day, the normalization of fraternity gang rape in the fraternity scene at local hometown university was complete. "Pulling a train"; all the disgrace adhering to the woman. Boys will be boys. I only briefly attended grad school there and was not in a frat, but my silence in the face of discussions of it I find retroactively shameful.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 8:05 AM
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139: I suspect the information about his dad's convictions and so on is partly for the narrative of "Well, kids grow up so quickly without proper parenting" that underlies some of that.

My girls are all tall and definitely get identified as being at least slightly older than they are, which was especially hard when people thought 3-year-old Mara was school-aged but she couldn't really talk yet. They haven't passed the tipping point to this being dangerous yet, though.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 8:08 AM
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What I find harder to believe is that a large number of sober men planned and executed an "initiation" gang-rape in the middle of a party against a victim some of them knew

Would it be easier to believe if you recast the narrative: "Hey, bros, wouldn't it be awesome if we gave one of these slutty sluts exactly what she wants, know what I mean, amirite?" Or even, "Hey, bros, bro's got Jackie giving it up upstairs, c'mon and get some."

I don't think you have to start with a cold-blooded, calculated crime to wind up with the gang rape Jackie describes. A handful of sociopaths, a lot of drinks and drugs, a fucked-up entitlement culture with no oversight, and a moderate amount of peer pressure and fear would seem to be all you need.


Posted by: NCE | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 9:54 AM
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Coming back way late to a dead thread, but on the question of how the grand jury could rationalize a failure to indict:

116: King's other point, about Garner being obese and being in generally ill-health is the only even-a-little plausible explanation I've seen for why they might not have indicted: they didn't feel confident saying it was the chokehold, rather than the totality of the situation, combined with Garner's ill-health, that killed him

People have probably seen this by now, but the NYT reports that Pantaleo testified that it wasn't a (banned) chokehold he used but a wrestling move widely taught at the Police Academy -- which is not supposed to involve choking off the windpipe. I've heard elsewhere that the police union testified as well that this is widely taught. That unfortunately does go some distance toward understanding the grand jury's decision.

Nonetheless, getting into the weeds on just what occurred and how is, from what I can tell, not the business of the grand jury: that sort of thing can come out at a full-fledged trial.

As I think Moby mentioned in the other thread, what should happen here (necessary though not sufficient to address the problem) is that when public officials, including police officers, are up for indictment, a special prosecutor should, by law, be appointed.

citizens at state and local levels [should], through ballot initiatives, take the authority for presenting evidence of police misconduct to grand juries out of the hands of local prosecutors. That authority could be handed to publicly accountable review boards staffed with civilian lawyers from within the jurisdiction, or to special prosecutors' offices.

For all I know, you all have discussed this already!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 7:23 PM
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You must have stolen or borrowed a baby at some point. Come to the other thread and share the story.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 8:19 PM
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Regarding the believability of the rape stories: you guys should read the comment sections of the Princeton student paper. If smart privileged high-status rich kids are completely incapable of taking the bold stance that blatant misogyny is bad and should be policed, then why on earth is it hard to imagine a gang rape at a frat house? Not that every sexual encounter in a frat house is rape, hardly, but if a bunch of guys started sexually assaulting a girl at a party, am I supposed to think that someone with a moral compass would suddenly appear and give a great feminist speech about this young woman was a real human being who hadn't consented to the assault and then all the guys would realize that they were not only degrading her, they were degrading themselves and they would stop? How is that one-tenth as believable than the Rolling Stone story?


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 9:24 PM
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And I bet if you made up an even more extreme strawman, it would be only one one-hundredth as believable as the Rolling Stone story!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 10:39 PM
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I honestly don't see why the UVA story is even mildly implausible. I mean, sure, maybe it didn't happen, who knows, things like that are hopefully rare, I've never (thank God) seen . But the idea that it's somehow implausible on its face just strikes me as totally divorced from reality. I was sort of in frat culture for a little bit, and I don't think I saw even an unjustified or questionable sexual assault (thank God), but there were definitely other frats with reputations for being full of what I thought of vaguely as "creeps" and it's pretty easy to see how the same group dynamics that have caused groups of young men to do gang rapes since like forever could also play out in a fraternity home at the University of Virginia.*

*I stayed overnight once at a UVA frat, and the members mostly seemed like total creeps. Not calling them gang rapists!


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 10:58 PM
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"seen or credibly knew about anything like that in person."


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 10:59 PM
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Yeah, I really don't see why people are arguing that the RS article is facially implausible. Sure, the reporter seems to have deviated from common practice in not making aggressive efforts to contact the alleged rapists, but she seems to have had pretty good reasons for doing so (and it's not like conventional investigative journalism is exactly the most ethical enterprise ever, IMHO), and in any case there's abundant evidence that rape is endemic on college campuses and especially among fraternities, so if that article draws attention to the issue it's made a positive impact even if not every detail turns out to be strictly accurate.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 11:07 PM
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I just love how that scenario is an "extreme strawman."


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 11:13 PM
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Feminist Fratboy: Extreme Strawman.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 11:14 PM
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|| So has anyone else been watching Dicte? |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 11:22 PM
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No.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 4-14 11:32 PM
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From that wrestling move article: He was employing a maneuver taught to him at the Police Academy, hooking an arm underneath one of Mr. Garner's arms while wrapping the other around Mr. Garner's torso

This is demonstrably not what he was doing. One arm is around his neck and the other is underneath him. You know, a chokehold.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 6:22 AM
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I was one of the people who reacted to the story as implausible (not exactly a reasoned judgment, but an emotional reaction). I think what set me off was the rapists' presumption of impunity -- they raped a sober woman (they might not have known she was sober, but could see she wasn't passing out drunk) who knew at least some of their names, under circumstances that would leave physical evidence of rape rather than ambiguously consensual sex, and didn't appear afraid of consequences. That seemed to me not so much implausibly evil as implausibly incautious, unless UVA is such a horrible place that their presumption of impunity was pretty reliable. On the other hand, UVA's 'never expelled a student for sexual assault' record is scary enough that UVA might actually be that bad a place, and I'm not confident of calling the story implausible on that basis.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 6:34 AM
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And Rolling Stone is now backing away from the story.

In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 11:26 AM
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154: It started off not as one, but when they're on the ground both on their sides it clearly looks like it's transitioned into something chokey.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:08 PM
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87 complaints of use of chokeholds this year but hey, 86 didn't have video evidence were not substantiated (I think we know which one was) so it's all good.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 12:14 PM
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Am I wrong to feel like all black college-aged defendants are referred to as men and all white college-aged defendants are boys?

Surely it's an improvement over the days when all adult Black men were "boy".


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 5-14 3:05 PM
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