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Location: Cranberry bogs, Cape Cod MA, United States

"I used to be a reporter too ..."

17 September 2005

Boston Globe on Police Shooting

To: Letters@globe.com, ombud@globe.com, ssmalley@globe.com
Subject: Boston Globe on Police Shooting
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2005 4:54 PM

A big, comprehensive, and almost thorough story in today's Boston Globe about the Boston police officers suspended and demoted for their part in the tragic fatal shooting of a young female student during the Red Sox celebration outside Fenway Park last October. She was hit with what was believed to be a non-lethal stop pellet.

Well -- let's check that coverage. It is a pretty long story. It is the lead story on page 1. A "punishment" box on page 1. A long "punishment and demotions" box on page B-6. All the officers, most of them veterans of long service with the BPD, are carefully identified and hung out to dry.

How much coverage ? -- 66 column inches. More than five feet of news space.

But what's missing ? Not one single line about the drunken little bastards who congregated outside Fenway that night and were trashing the place and endangering public safety with their "celebratory" riot.

Were any of these spoiled, self absorbed children even old enought to drink legally ? Were any prosecuted ? Were any convicted ? What were their penalties, if any. A little sidebar on those punks might have helped balance the story. How about their names and photos and their schools or places of employment, and their hometowns ?

The Snelgrove girl went to the riot because as a journalist to be, that was where the story was. She would be alive today if those drunken louts had stayed in their rooms and off the streets of Boston. There would have been no story for her to cover.

All that story need was a little balance.

Yours for a better Boston ..

The Cranberry Bog Fox

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