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Letter to the editor

Student questions police blotter need

November 21, 2008

I enjoy reading your paper on a weekly basis and find many great articles of fact and opinion that I enjoy. I am, however, disappointed with one section of the paper. The River Falls Police/Public Safety section has made me very upset (for the record my name has never appeared there).

I do not understand why we have this in our paper; are people being “entertained” by this? If so, they should be ashamed that they can take pleasure from other peoples pain, mistakes, or wrongdoings. I understand one of the main reasons for this section is that it is supposed to be a “deterrent” to crime and under-age drinking; but I have a hard time believing that any student has ever been offered a beer and has turned it down because an image of their name, posted in the paper next to a drink- ing citation, popped into their head. No, I think the outrageous fine is more on the forefront of their mind, the paper is most likely not even considered or thought of (no offense).

Not only that, but the most recent article has smeared the reputation of one of my good friends. The worst part about it, they got it all wrong. My friend DID NOT commit the crime posted in the paper, but now she must deal with the fact that anyone who read that section will believe that she did indeed commit this crime. This makes me very angry, we are smearing the name and reputation of our own classmates. It is not even posted in the section that the crimes are alleged and not proven to be 100% true. These people have not even been able to go to court yet to fight for their side of the story, yet we put their name in the paper next to a crime they may not have committed. Even the TV show “Copes” doesn’t give out the names of the maniacs that commit REAL crime, and they not that the crime is alleged and the “criminal” is innocent until proven guilty.

I believe this section is completely unnecessary, immature, and noneffective. It is only hurting ourselves that we post these crimes. We have no history of the person or what might have got them to the point where they did what they did. It forces us to jump to conclusions about people we may hardly even know, and when the information we use to reach those conclusions is incorrect it becomes even more obvious that the section should be removed.

Otherwise, keep up the great work.

Dave Linder, student

Editor’s note: Although we fully appreciate this letter, we checked the case in question and it was factual as reported in last week’s Student Voice.