When? Who?

I first heard this emergency report on KGMI yesterday. Their website had it up in big red letters

Women Raped and Burglarized

A rape, a burglary, and some suspicious behavior in a two-block area in Bellingham on the same day has police issuing a warning. The crimes all occurred around two or three in the morning on April 27th in the 500 and 600 blocks of East Maple Street. The suspect is described as a Hispanic or Native American man in his 30’s or 40’s who’s between five foot five and five foot nine inches tall. The victims have all been women in there 20’s. Bellingham and Western Washington University police are telling people to keep windows and doors locked and to not open doors to strangers. They add that you should not let people know you’re home alone. Another tip is to keep shrubbery trimmed and away from windows

Here is a portion of today’s story in the Herald which is classed under Public Safety.

Burglary, rape reports near WWU spur alert

woman in her 20s reported waking to find an unidentified man engaged in sexual intercourse with her between 1 and 3 a.m. on April 27, police spokeswoman Flo Simon said. The woman pushed the man off her and out of the house.

Police believe the same man is responsible for a burglary the same night, and had been seen acting suspiciously in the area on April 24.

What’s the date today? When did this happen? How many days between April 24 and 27th? What the heck is up with this? Why not the warning on the 25th, or the 28th or any time between then and now! I hope some savvy reporter is all over the police for answers.

I’ll now shift gears to the other thing that bugged me about this story. And for all of you who are about to call me a racist, I say go for it! I’ve been called worse before and most likely will be in the future. What I see happened was that the description of the suspect mutated a bit.

  • 5-9-07 KGMI – The suspect is described as a Hispanic or Native American man in his 30’s or 40’s who’s between five foot five and five foot nine inches tall.
  • 5-10-07 KGMI – looking for a man
  • 5-10-07 Herald – The suspect is described as in his 30s, 5-foot-6 with an average build.

What the heck is up with this? Sure we should be looking out and protecting ourselves from suspicious characters of all shapes, sizes, colors etc. but why doesn’t the public get the most accurate description of the suspicious character? Was it the police or the media that squelched this? Was it a mistake? Was the suspicious character not actually Hispanic or Native American? Was it that someone read Hispanic and Native American in the same sentence and decided that this didn’t represent well for those groups even though it was an accurate description of the suspect? If so, then why identify the suspect as a man? It doesn’t represent well for us men.

Let’s see…. who would not want any bad press regarding Hispanics and Native Americans??? especially around the end of April start of May???? What was going on then??? all over in the streets of Bellingham??? hmmm…… Well stop thinking along those lines because it is all just baseless conspiracy talk!

To the police, media, local officials who ever is involved; Just give us an accurate timely description or don’t bother at all.

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4 Responses to “When? Who?”

  1. […] When? Who? updated with the latest on a DNA identified suspect/fugitive sex offender. […]

  2. […] fed by the media seems to just keep going. Over the last week I had run across a couple of stories (When? Who?, When? Who? 2) that identified the suspects using their race as part of their description and then […]

  3. When? Who? 2 says:

    […] a couple of days ago I commented on a story about a police suspect that was described as Hispanic or Native American one day and […]

  4. Brett Bonner says:

    No conspiracy from KGMI. The reason for the change on the subject’s description on our website is that website stories are generally short headlines. The full story can be heard on the air. However, when there is a breaking situation (like yesterday when police first alerted us about the rapist), we often put more information than usual on the website. This morning, when editing the morning news, I shortened the headline. Rest assured, no outside sources are manipulating the news content. KGMI’s policy is to always use race, age, weight, height, cloting etc. when police are seeking a subject.