2002-04-27 / Letters

Police Blotter Woes

Police Blotter Woes

Dear Editor;

There have been concerns recently in regards to community policing policies, conduct and behavior. Even to the point where the office of Queens District Attorney has responded in a Letter to the Editor in support of policing policies of the 100 and 101 precincts. And likewise the local chapter of the NAACP convened several meetings on this very urgent matter.

There are obvious reasons for these concerns. Take for instance, the recent forced entry on a respectable family seeking unfounded drugs with guns fully drawn in the presents of minors, while handcuffed and while police ransacked and destroyed their living quarters, left some questions unanswered. Then the matter of children and adult tenants charged with trespassing in the building of which they reside, stopped, frisked and arrested. Or, kids frolicking the streets rush and pounced on for no apparent reason. Or, pet walkers continuously provoked and harassed unnecessarily. All of these incidents have given considerable rise between the locals and the police department could be attributed to the weekly publishing of The Wave weekly arrest column.

Clearly, the Constitution of the United States indicates that every man is presumed to be innocent until otherwise. However, weekly printing of names in Police Blotter makes every man presume guilty, even in wrongful arrest. The information printed weekly in Police Blotter has to be seen in violation of individuals Constitutional Rights of Privacy under the First Amendment. Even when persons have been exonerated and redeemed by the courts, no retraction for wrongful printing has ever been noted.

This type of reporting to increase volume sales could be considered a major contributing factor in recent and exacerbating police behavior. Also this type of press reporting quite often perpetuates wrongful thinking by outsiders of stabilized community and aids in the manifestation or stagnation of any real community growth, success or stability. At the very same time destroying the very fabric necessitated real community growth.

The local media standards of reporting must be held to higher standards when it comes to reporting internal community matters. And although this type of strategy quite often generates volume sales, for the sake and the stability of this community it should be stopped. No other local community newspapers embark on this dangerous and irresponsible path. And The Wave, in the interest of this community growth, should likewise. However if The Wave sees the need to continue this type of reporting (which I hope they would not), then there should be some mechanism set in place to protect the rights and sanctity of the families and the innocents in the community. Think About It.

REY CLARKE


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