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Columbia man robbed and assaulted in downtown parking garage

Saturday, June 6, 2009 | 8:11 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA - At approximately 1 a.m. Saturday, Columbia resident Adam Taylor, 25, was robbed and assaulted in the parking garage on S. Tenth and Cherry Streets, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department.

Taylor said he was walking through the parking garage when five or six males in their mid- to late teens approached him, kicked and punched him and stole his wallet, according to the release. Taylor reported the incident from a nearby business, where police then spoke to him. He suffered minor injuries, the release said.

The Major Crimes Unit is currently investigating the incident.

 


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Comments

Charles Dudley Jr June 6, 2009 | 9:03 p.m.

So where is the description of the suspects so others can look out for these thugs?

Come on staff this is important stuff to keep other down town people safe.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 6, 2009 | 11:14 p.m.

("Taylor said he was walking through the parking garage when five or six males in their mid-to late teens approached him, kicked and punched him and stole his wallet, according to the release.")
Be on the look out for a "gang" of five or six males in their mid-to late teens.
(Why do I have a gut feeling that an important racial component is missing from this report/description.)
Is the Missourian giving criminals preferential treatment or just concerned about hurting their "feelings?"

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 7, 2009 | 4:48 a.m.

>>> Is the Missourian giving criminals preferential treatment or just concerned about hurting their "feelings?" <<<

Looks like both to me. WTF are they teaching these kids in the jschool these days and whatever happened to real reporting in the national media?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 7, 2009 | 11:46 a.m.

Protecting the "feelings" of the gang members who attacked this guy and giving criminals preferentail treatment because of their race is just plain wrong.
The Tribune gave full disclosure of the police report, which included...
("..five or six black teens wearing white T-shirts approached him, punched and kicked him and stole his wallet...")
source and more...
Teens mug a man in Downtown Garage
Columbia Daily Tribune
Sunday, June 7, 2009

(Report Comment)
Matt Y June 7, 2009 | 11:49 a.m.

This is getting pretty ridiculous, Missourian.

(Report Comment)
Ryan L June 7, 2009 | 12:29 p.m.

Including "black" in the description would add nothing to the story. Presumably the police have a detailed description to begin their investigation. We can't "look out for these thugs" because any kind of written description gives us little information to go on.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 7, 2009 | 1:36 p.m.

("...would add nothing to the story..." )
1. It would add the truth.
2. It would add the racial component.
3. It would exonerate the Missourian.
And that's just for starters....

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 7, 2009 | 1:51 p.m.

(...police attending a meeting hosted by Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill on Wednesday about crime in the Derby Ridge neighborhood. The meeting will include command staff who know the issues and have decision-making power. Burton called it an example of interaction with residents in a proactive way.")
Considering all the black on white crime that is happening in Columbia, I hope law-abiding black neighbors show up at this meeting along with the landlords who own the duplexes which provide "safe-houses" for many of those who are bringing the quality of life in the 6th ward down...

(Report Comment)
Katherine Reed June 7, 2009 | 4:11 p.m.

Hey,this is Katherine Reed. I'm the public safety editor for the Missourian. I've read the comments on this brief and thought that maybe I might explain why we didn't disclose the race of the suspects in this brief. To describe someone as black and in his mid- to late teens doesn't narrow down a description sufficiently to help the public identify a suspect. The Missourian publishes full descriptions provided by victims to police when the description contains three, unchangeable characteristics, like height, weight, a specific facial feature, skin color, a tattoo. The description provided by the victim to police in this case was practically useless (no fault of the victim who was certainly terrified and in no state of mind to remember more specific details -- and that is one of the reasons eyewitness identifications of suspects often result in wrongful convictions).
So I don't see why the Missourian needs "exonerating," as one reader has suggested. We think the description provided contributes nothing useful to one of the goals of such reporting: locating suspects. We don't hide useful information from our readers. We do, however, practice a certain restraint with regard to including race when it is irrelevant. And by the way, most crime in Columbia is not black on white.
Executive editor Tom Warhover wrote a column on the Missourian's policy not too long ago, and as soon as I can locate the link to his column I will post it.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 7, 2009 | 4:38 p.m.

@Ms. Reed:
Hey. it's your newspaper.
(I still think your "race" policy stinks on ice!)

("Jake Sherlock May 12, 2009 | 3:18 p.m.
Ray,
... Below is the text of that policy:

OUR POLICY ON DESCRIBING AT-LARGE SUSPECTS IN CRIMES
We will publish descriptions of criminal suspects as we get them from the law enforcement agency, including the reported race of the suspect. We will try our best in EVERY case to get more detailed descriptions by questioning the police and by independently reporting. We will make sure to include the race of all suspects described as white or Caucasian, just as we do the race of those described as black, Asian or Hispanic. BEFORE we publish the race of a suspect, we will make sure the description includes at least THREE other identifying characteristics, such as weight, height, age, hair color and length, scars and tattoos.")

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 7, 2009 | 5:03 p.m.

@Katherine Reed:
("...most crime in Columbia is not black on white.")
How do you know this is in fact a true statement?
Are you also privy to how much of Columbia's violent crime is perpetuated as "Black on White" compared to how much of Columbia's crime is perpetuated by "White on Black." Afterall, you represent a new source that fails to even present the information being reported to the public via the police?
Are we to take you at your word?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 7, 2009 | 8:52 p.m.

The fact is that if you do not at least try to describe the group of thugs with all details no matter how small that attacked this other guy or others then you leave other citizens with out a heads up to what they might want too look out for when out at night in the down town area or other areas of this community.

Am I bashing you over this policy? You can take this anyway you want as long as you and others learn a lesson from it.

Common sense obviously is not affiliated with your public safety program is it.

(Report Comment)
M No June 7, 2009 | 9:45 p.m.

Why bother even printing that they were male? Or that they had on white shirts? Have you been to a paint store recently? How are we supposed to know what color of white they were wearing?! It could be porcelain white, sand white, bright white, lattice white, snow slope white, feather white, modern white, smart white, cloud white, antique white.... I don’t know the shade of white the assailants were wearing! If a group of people come up to me wearing fairy dust white should I be alarmed? I don’t think I will have enough time to grab my paint samples from my car in time. What am I supposed to do?

(Report Comment)
M No June 7, 2009 | 9:46 p.m.

Thank you for printing the name of the victim. It will be very helpful to me as I am looking for the paint samples in my car.

(Report Comment)
Chad Day June 7, 2009 | 10:28 p.m.

So including race would help narrow down whom you need to look out for how? Rarely if ever would adding a racial identifier to a sparse description of less than three non-changing characteristics allow a citizen to lead police to a potential suspect.
I'm not affiliated as an editor at the Missourian anymore, but if you're looking to disparage this policy on that basis then you're not considering that rarely if ever do published descriptions of suspects allow citizens to assist police without a surveillance photo.
Just to be clear, the Missourian runs mug shots or surveillance photos when the suspect is still at large for that very reason. Think about it, you wouldn't be OK with a reporter identifying someone in a story with only his or her amount of facial hair, the hat he or she was wearing and his or her race. No, so you might want to take the Missourian's policy at its word: it's trying to keep you informed of the most accurate and informative details it can rather than misleading residents to look out for their Asian, black or otherwise neighbor.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 7, 2009 | 10:32 p.m.

("BEFORE we publish the race of a suspect, we will make sure the description includes at least THREE other identifying characteristics, such as weight, height, age, hair color and length, scars and tattoos.")
Considering that these suspects were in fact black, how many victims would then add:
Black Males-Black Hair-Shortly Cropped-Late Teens-Average Height..........DUH!
Me thinks the Missourian is being overly Politically Correct to the point of "covering up" available facts.
I see that as borderline collusion with the criminals...

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 7, 2009 | 11:14 p.m.

Mentioning the reported fact that these suspects were black would have taken every white teenager off the hook....
("The Community needs to know what segment of our town is committing these violent crimes if we are going to address this plague in the context of reality.")

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 8, 2009 | 5:13 a.m.

>>> ray shapiro June 7, 2009 | 11:14 p.m.
Mentioning the reported fact that these suspects were black would have taken every white teenager off the hook....
("The Community needs to know what segment of our town is committing these violent crimes if we are going to address this plague in the context of reality.") <<<

Agree 100%

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 8, 2009 | 11:52 a.m.

A NEWSpaper is supposed to report the facts. If a suspect has been identified as having a certain skin color, that's a fact (until shown otherwise). Political correctness should have no bearing on the issue. But what if the witness to the crime was wrong? Well, then the witness was wrong - that happens. If we were going to wait until every last possibility of a story is researched and verified then the only thing a NEWSpaper will be good for is to wrap garbage in. That should be Journalism 101.

(Report Comment)
Panama Red June 8, 2009 | 12:58 p.m.

White, black, green, just report the facts as they are. Otherwise, people will just assume that they are blacks when that's not always the case.

(Report Comment)
M No June 9, 2009 | 4:24 p.m.

Well the victim said they were black, and it turns out they are! Even though the victim did not notice three identifying factors of each of his 6 attackers (thats 18 identifying marks total, to notice while being assaulted!), he did notice they were black. So, yeah, that would have been helpful information for the public to know!

(Report Comment)

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