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Sex in the city's police blotter | Federal Way letters
There it is, blaring out in big bold heavy type, in a premium location at the top of page 3 in the March 6 issue of the Federal Way Mirror: “Suspect strangles victim during sex.”
The Mirror’s police blotter section provides samples obtained from the Federal Way police log during the previous week. In a lowly attempt to gain readership, the particularly salacious incident mentioned above is awarded top billing over nine other reports that week — above vandalism, counterfeiting and gunshots fired in public. And there is not a chronological ordering to the list. It appears that sex trumps all and sells papers.
The section is tabbed as a “crime alert.” More troubling than your tabloid ambitions is the fact that these alerts are generated from the initial police reports without any clarifying investigation information.
Let’s say someone falsely reports to the police that I have committed a crime — all it takes is a phone call. The following week, my address shows up in the paper for the whole community to see simply because a report was made. In a case such as this, the Federal Way Mirror essentially acts as both judge and jury, denying me the opportunity to testify, to call witnesses or to present any other evidence to refute the charges. Where is the presumption of innocence? My reputation can be damaged with no way to explain, no way to repair it.
Note to the Mirror: Please raise your standards. Discontinue the police blotter, it has no value. Don't slouch toward the more scandalous and sensational end of the market to make a buck.
A.M. Smith, Federal Way
Editor’s note: The Mirror’s police blotter is taken directly from Federal Way police reports. To protect privacy, The Mirror omits the full address of any report that takes place at a residence and/or involves rape, domestic violence, etc. Police investigate all reports, regardless of whether they are false reports, a spokesman said. The police blotter’s purpose is to show actual reports received by Federal Way police.