Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No graphic videos here

So as I feared, when the judge in the involuntary manslaughter trial of former Police Chief Ed Fleury ruled the jury could see the horrific video (but not hear the sound track) of a little boy accidentally shooting himself in the head at point blank rage, that opened the door for the evidence to go public--and in this day and age that guarantees Internet viral video status.

Judge Peter Velis , over the objections of the prosecution and defense attorneys, has now ruled the digital video can be turned over to the media. Ugh!

And even if my friends at the Springfield Republican and Daily Hampshire Gazette decide they are a family newspaper and the content just too graphic and disturbing to disseminate, somebody will publish it, and once it gets out it will explode across the web like a photon torpedo.

According to the National Press Photographers Association code of ethics:

"Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see."

As Mr. Fleury's attorney pointed out a few months ago, there is no dispute about the fact that an Uzi is a deadly weapon. And no dispute that it caused the death of an 8-year-old child. Does the jury really need to see the blood and brain tissue to be convinced?

I have the right to not to watch it, which--like the gruesome beheading of Danny Pearl video--I will choose to invoke. Unfortunately the jury in this case has no such choice.

My original lament

Ch. 22 reports

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is he thinking? (The judge.)

LarryK4 said...

Probably that it will make his job easier. Now the jury is sure to come back with a unanimous verdict, and rather quickly I would imagine.

Anonymous said...

I am a gun owner and a former range safety officer (Boy Scouts) and I want this video broadcast on every television station. There is a legitimate public safety interest in having the public be aware that guns are not toys.

Thirty years ago, in a very different world, two young men left a fraternity house on a motorcycle (this was at UMaine Orono) and both had drinks in their hands. They wound up underneath an oncoming vehicle in a double fatality.

(And the dumb blonde asked "was anyone hurt" -- seriously, upon hearing that it was "a double fatality" asked if anyone was hurt...)

The student newspaper ran the picture of car & bike and clothed body parts (no faces) on the front page and people were upset. But they probably saved some lives doing this.

I like guns, but I am terrified of the people who don't take them seriously -- folk with more money than brains with an Amex over all attitude. If seeing a kid's head blown apart will save some other kid's life, I am all for it.

Ed said...

Now the jury is sure to come back with a unanimous verdict, and rather quickly I would imagine.

I am not so sure. (Notice that the prosecutor also objected.)

My guess is that a lot of jurors are going to look at the video and ask what kind of parent would let their child DO that and that is reasonable doubt as to Flurey's guilt.

I agree. We do not live in a nanny state (yet) and parents are the persons responsible for their childrens' safety. The man is a surgeon, he has to have an IQ over 12 and as a surgeon in Springfield he has to at least seen (if not treated) at least one gunshot wound -- even if just covering in the ER as a resident.

The Whiskey Tango Foxtrot NO we are not going to do this was the father's call and he blew it. Same thing with the Amherst Cop whose son drowned in the pool -- law for at least 3 decades has been a fence/barrier around the pool (which they did not have) explicitly to prevent that.

Who was the final person who could have stopped that boy from having that gun - the father. And if anyone is guilty of anything, it is he. jury will grudgingly conclude likewise, I suspect...

Ed said...

While I am managing to offend everyone, I am reminded of what Camile Paglia once said about date rape:

If a woman makes the stupid decision to get drunk out of her mind in a bar and then makes the stupid decision to try to drive home, and then runs into a tree and is seriously injured, she is a criminal. She is not a victim, she is a criminal (although I trust the AFD would see she received proper medical care).

If the same woman, after having made the stupid decision to get drunk out of her mind in a bar, instead makes an equally stupid decision to get into some random guy's car and he rapes her, she is now a victim. With no responsibility for her bad choices.

And how is the decision to get into his car any less stupid than the decision to get into her own car? In both cases, she has made the stupid decisions that created the situation, starting with (a) getting drunk out of her mind and (b) if she is inclined to do that, not having trusted friends around to babysit her.

Paglia's argument (and the Taliban later showed how accurate it was -- yes Larry, I remember Izzy and your wife in Burkas)) is that in order for women to be treated as adults and the equal of men, they have to be responsible for the bad things that happen to them.

Unless we want to live in the Brave New World where children are taken from parents at birth and raised by the state in group homes, parents have to be the ones responsible for their children and that includes responsible when something tragic happens.

The drunken 19-year-old Mt Holyoke girl should not have gone into the frathouse that used to be by the Baptist Church and definitely not by herself. The father should not have let his son shoot the gun by himself. Bad things would not have happened had these bad choices not been made....

Ed said...

Back in the '90s, there was a very cute blond undergrad who liked to wear miniskirts -- without underwear. And as the adviser to the now-defunct UMass Republican Club, I had the required conversation with her about how this really might not be something she wanted to be doing --and how she definitely didn't want to be going into frat houses dressed like that later in the evening.

But rape is a crime and she had the right to expect the boys not to rape her, she insisted.

"Yes", I agreed, but walking up and punching someone who hasn't hit you first is a crime too, isn't it?

And if I stand outside the frat house and shout every vile insult I can think of at them, I should expect not to be beaten up?

No, the girl (I use the term intentionally) did not understand the concept, and she is now somoene's trophy wife -- and she will be kept in a perpetual childhood forever. (Her choice although I don't think he realized she actually made it.)

My point: if we want to be independent people treated as adults, then WE and not someone else have to be responsible when our bad choices cause us bad outcomes. That is what freedom is.

Anonymous said...

As a gun owner and father of two young boys, I also wish that this video would been seen and heard by as many people as possible. Like the Drivers Ed car crash movies, it might save a few lives--despite the voyeuristic aspect of it for some.

The responsibility for this boy's tragic death is shared, IMHO, by Fleury, the father (who is/was actually an ER doc, and definitely has seen his share of gunshot wounds), the range safety officer, and probably the club. None of them should have allowed it to happen, period. A rifle, yes, a handgun, sure. A full-auto mini-Uzi that even adults have a hard time keeping on target? No way! There is more than enough guilt to go around.

Why this is being perceived as somehow analogous to "date rape" is beyond me. No eight-year-old could ever be blamed for being raped, irrespective of the circumstances--at least not by any sane person.

As far as the "Nanny State" argument, IMHO a stupid decision that leads to one's own injury without involving someone else is different than making a stupid decision that lets a bad actor inflict injury on them. It only takes one person to drive drunk, but it takes a rapist and a victim for "date rape." Even if, and I really mean IF, some of the blame could be placed on the victim, that does not mean that the rapist is innocent. (Shades of grey, differing circumstances, etc., but bottom line remains.)

Thanks for your time.

Anonymous said...

ED...

You are kidding, right?

Anonymous said...

"Back in the '90s"

My god, Ed. You really are the perpetual student.

Anonymous said...

It's either free speech or no free speech. Once it become we better censor that speech, no matter the reason, free speech is gone.

May be painful. May be unseemly. That's the cost of free speech sometimes.

LarryK4 said...

Free speech?

The Judge seems to have squelched the audio now didn't he? Thus he doctored the images.

And according to the National Press Photographers code of ethics:

"Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images' content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects."

Ed said...

Why this is being perceived as somehow analogous to "date rape" is beyond me.

I was considering the father as the victim, not the dead 8 year old -- who quite definitely is also a victim here! However, it is the father who will be hurt by the video, the child hopefully is in a better place beyond pain.

IMHO a stupid decision that leads to one's own injury without involving someone else

She still would be considered a criminal. How about the woman who was drunk and hit the pole, breaking the old-fashioned glass insulator (that WMECO ought to have upgraded years ago) and her friend got electrocuted stepping out of the car. She got prosecuted....

Even if, and I really mean IF, some of the blame could be placed on the victim, that does not mean that the rapist is innocent.

I never said that the rapist wasn't guilty as hell, nor that he shouldn't be prosecuted/punished for his crime. No more than I never said the same about the fratboys coming out and pounding on me because I shouted insults outside their house.

Ed said...

Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects."

Anyone remember the blue dot over the alleged rape victim's face during the William Kennedy Smith trial????

Anonymous said...

"...in order for women to be treated as adults and the equal of men, they have to be responsible for the bad things that happen to them."

Ed, go crawl back into the hole you crawled out of. As a female, no matter how I dress or what the provocation, I am not responsible for being raped. That is on your very sick head, sir, and all the other men out there who think women are "asking for it." Maybe you should watch the movie "The Accused" a couple of times before you make such disgusting and ill-informed statements. We all make poor decisions at times. That does not justify the horrors we experience at someone else's hands. By saying we are responsible, you might as well put the victims in jail and celebrate the perpetrators' rights to turn the key. Amazing, twisted thinking.

Anonymous said...

Ed, go crawl back into the hole you crawled out of.

You realize, of course, how the Taliban came to power, don't you?

Sorry to confuse you with the facts, oh you of a smaller brain and wildly wandering hormones....

Anonymous said...

to jan 5 @ 2:57 a.m.
"wildly wandering hormones?" oh my. this would be funny except it's not.
your pathetic, sorry self has just been revealed. you obviously have no idea what you're talking about when you reference the taliban, (i mean, you really don't have a clue) but since you mentioned them, you can start with your own misogynist ideas which would fit in quite well with their way of thinking about women. trash cans are cheap. you might want to think about getting one to dump your idiocy into.

Anonymous said...

2:57 am:

I guess we have a foot-binding, burqa-wearing, walk two steps behind believer in our midst. Maybe we should take up a collection and give this dodo a one-way ticket to Afghanistan where he can happily join the ranks of similarly-minded "men." I'm sure they would be happy to welcome him into the fold.

nm

Anonymous said...

From a legal standpoint, this is the right decision. It is important that juries have access to all relevant information. Sadly, this video is relevant information. Don't be so sure that the jury will come back with a quick decision.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating that greater control of guns has not come up in this discussion.

Is it really necessary for people to have Uzis?

Hunters, please weigh in. I do believe in the right to bear arms, though I don't own any guns, myself.

But who hunts with an Uzi?

America has a loud voice when it comes to supporting people's right to own guns. Play the video and the audio on every channel. And while we're at it, televise the wars also, please.

Little Bush chose not to allow much media coverage of the wars or of flag covered cakets of fallen warriors.

So, while our soldiers are at war, we are mindless about that reality. INstead, we're at the mall and then home watching "reality" tv.

Something is very messed up here.

Please televise teh awful sounds and sights so that we may actually learn something.

Anonymous said...

"Please televise teh awful sounds and sights so that we may actually learn something."


I've learned that you need to up the Prozac and quit the Benzozs.


That's what I've learned.

Anonymous said...

Larry, a post of mine mysteriously disappeared again.


Come on, free speech, please.

LarryK4 said...

I have not deleted a Comment (other than double posts) in over six months.

Although sorely tempted as of late...

Anonymous said...

Larry, one was posted, then it disappeared. Check your email copy, find it and re-post it, please.


Thank you Larry.

LarryK4 said...

That could take forever (one thing I'm not is organized, and my email box is a shambles).

Just repost it now.

Anonymous said...

That would be the one by "Roach patrol" around 11 a.m. (or so) today.


All emails are dated Larry. Check your in box. Should take you less than a minute.


Thanks.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I found it. If I had deleted it the template would say "Comment deleted by blog administrator" or something like that.

It does seem we have strayed a bit from the main theme of my original post.

#################################
Roach patrol has left a new comment on your post "No graphic videos here":

"Ed, go crawl back into the hole you crawled out of. As a female, no matter how I dress or what the provocation, I am not responsible for being raped. That is on your very sick head, sir, and all the other men out there who think women are "asking for it." Maybe you should watch the movie "The Accused" a couple of times before you make such disgusting and ill-informed statements. We all make poor decisions at times. That does not justify the horrors we experience at someone else's hands. By saying we are responsible, you might as well put the victims in jail and celebrate the perpetrators' rights to turn the key. Amazing, twisted thinking.

January 4, 2011 9:43 PM"


Excuse me. What gives you the god damned right to treat Ed like this? Huh? You "dismiss" his conclusions, NO YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW THEM (nor do you want to), simply because of his gender. Period. And oh, you say "as a female" as if that means anything. Shut up, with your pathetic "enlightened" valley arrogance squawk. A crime is a crime. Just because you're a woman doesn't give you any greater insight into why men, who've chosen to rape, choose WHO to rape. As a matter of fact, it gives you LESS. WAY LESS. And since women are still being raped by the millions, I say "YOU'VE" failed to STOP it because "YOU'VE" failed to understand it. And that's PROOF. And no one needs your feminist drivel on the subject, either. Because it's shit. No, it's less than shit.

The right to not be raped and the process(es) that create(s) rape victims are two TOTALLY separate things, idiot.

And when a male talks about his ideas regarding the things women can do to protect themselves, weak or solid, you god damned THANK HIM because he's on your side and he's TRYING, asshole.

But you sound like you may be "the type" that doesn't thank men, ever.

Yeah, because you F-ing know it all.

Don't you?

LarryK4 said...
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LarryK4 said...
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Anonymous said...

Honest question here, what if a juror doesnt WANT to see such a graphic video? I know I would not want to see that replayed in my mind forever.

LarryK4 said...

A few were already dismissed before making it to the jury because they said they could not deal with it.

Perhaps the baliff will stand guard and make sure they all keep their eyes open when it plays.

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, I found it. If I had deleted it the template would say "Comment deleted by blog administrator" or something like that."


Said it before and I'll say it again Larry, I think your account has been hacked. How else is this going to happen?

LarryK4 said...

Doubt it. Blogger is too good. Don't mess with Google.

When I first tried to repost it I received an error message saying the post was too long. So I tried again twice and the same thing.

But then when I came back to the blog they were ALL there. That's why you see two back-to-back "Comment deleted by the author" messages.

Perhaps when you are overly wordy it appears for a while and then goes away without a trace. Try being more succinct from now on.

Ed said...

Attention all feminists: If your son was to take all the money out of his bank account as cash ($100 bills), put all of the bills half into various pants and shirt pockets so they were all clearly visible, and then told you he was going to a frat party where he intended to get drunk out of his mind, would you (a) tell him he had a right not to be robbed or (b) suggest that he ought not do this.

Assume that this is someone whom you care about, someone whom you care about very much, what would you do?

I like to think that you would tell him that while he did have a right to believe that people shouldn't rob/mug him, that there are bad people in the world and were he to do something like this, one very likely would.

And how, exactly, is this different from telling your daughter that she ought not go naked into the same frat house? She, too, has the right to believe that people won't do bad things to her either, but there are bad people out there....

Never forget that the Taliban was created in response to women being raped in the anarchy that followed the Soviet defeat, and that they (like the KKK in the early days of Reconstruction) arose in response to this. Facts matter....