Citizens, beware!!!! Your civil right's mean nothing to a small town news-paper with lots of money, lack of crime and the greedy urge to sell juicy paper's to the masses (unless, of coarse, you are a wealthy, well-connected, Caucasion!) They feel NO NEED to respect a person's right to remain unidentified or just plain left alone! |
How, you ask, do I know? It happened to me. A reporter from my local news paper approached me and started questioning me about a brutal murder that occured earlier that morning. I hadn't even know about it until he told me and proceeded to ask me leading questions, then identified himself as a reprter.
Big Deal, you say! Think again. The very next morning I found the headline that would alter my life in way I never imagined, "****** man found stabbed to death", it read. My heart sank when I turned the page and saw my name in print quoted as saying that, "I have noticed gang activity in the area." Hang on, it gets worse! A convienent map pin-pointing our complex was placed right next to my so-called comments. Not only did I now fear reprocutions from my heavily gang populated complex, I also felt violated and shocked that a reporter would blatantly ignore my specific request that he not use my name in his article!
What, you ask, is the risk? After speaking to the lead detective investigating this case, the seriousness of the matter sunk in. He said that I am now at risk, and must take any necissary precautions to insure my safety. He said that no-one can gaureentee the gangs are not angered by my comments, essentially I pointed the first finger.
What can you do? After being left to fend for myself, the paper refused to help me relocate even just until the murderer was in custody, I vacated my home. I am staying with a friend and have sent a letter demanding that they take reponsibility for the position they have put me in. I am currently waiting for a response, I hope they can remember that they too, (before subscribing to a career of exploiting innocent people to sell papers) were once human.
What next? If they still refuse to help me, I will put their name in print. It will be in every independent news source available to me. I will also file a civil complaint against them and investigate bringing a criminal suite against the reporter himself!
Standing alone, reading my name, I was soo weak, afraid and saddened. Now I feel strong, impowered and I know that I'm not alone.