#1 By: Mark Frauenfelder, December 17th, 2013 12:00
#2 By: Acer Platanoides , December 17th, 2013 12:12
Next on FOX: To Catch A Personal Care Attendant
#3 By: Morgan Hanam, December 17th, 2013 12:16
This is why the public shaming can be a bad idea. The possible (probable!) mis-use of power by authorities. Shaming can be very effective, but when are police allowed to shame people? To say nothing of the important distinction between morality and law. I ve always thought that police have no business judging people morally (as difficult as that must be at times). The shaming thing has always struck me as vaguely medieval in approach. But it can happen in more many more subtle ways as well. The local pharmacy I use has a methadone program (=good) but they have to enter the public space of the store and actually take it publicly, often in front of other customers (who don t have to take their medicine in front of other customers at the store). For me, this is a kind of public shaming. I can understand perhaps taking it under supervision, but what need is there for the general public to be there? So it looks like part of a moralistic cult of punishment.
#4 By: Tim, December 17th, 2013 12:27
Since somewhere around 90% of sex crimes are committed by someone known to the victim, I'd imagine that public restrooms probably aren't even one of the more popular venues for such creeps to assault a child. Why risk getting busted in public when you could rape to your dark heart's content in the privacy of your home/coach's office/scout leader's tent/church rectory?
#5 By: Mister44, December 17th, 2013 12:32
I think part of this is from the over hyped "stranger danger". Unless you have a badge on, pretty much every guy is sexual predator in waiting - watching for the moment to snatch your child away. God help you if you come across a lost 4 year old. You're more likely to be treated like a guy with "Free Candy" on the side of a windowless van, than a concerned person - who is also a parent - trying to help. Ditto with having any interaction, no matter how minor, with a child not your own. Hell - I guess I am helping to perpetuate the system. My kid is supposed to look for a "mommy" if she gets lost.
#6 By: Acer Platanoides , December 17th, 2013 12:46
and... if you do have a badge, what sort of predator are you more likely to be then?
#7 By: Jon Sowden, December 17th, 2013 12:47
That's an understandable approach.
Our two girls (9 and 10 y/o) walk and use public transport to move around our city by themselves. I've been trying to teach that if/when they get lost or in trouble that they can ask anyone for help, and that person will help them. But, on the other hand, if anyone asks them if they want/need help then they should ignore that person and move away. I'm attempting to get them to understand that, yes, there are bad people out there, but the odds of them accidentally picking one of the bad people is vanishingly small compared to their own need for assistance, but, on the other hand, the odds go way way up when the contact is initiated by the other person. The simple idea I'm trying to use is "people are good, and anyone you ask will help you, but you have to chose who you want help from." The only important thing is who initiates the contact. I figure that's more learnable than trying to pre-define a whitelist of strangers. I'm scared that the whitelist approach will cause a system shutdown - can't remember who was on the whitelist, or can't find someone who looks like they belong on the whitelist - leaving them scared and alone at the one time they really need help.
You can probably imagine that my partner and I don't completely agree about this ... And when I'm honest with myself it makes me highly uncomfortable emotionally too, even though I'm pretty sure of the logic.
I'm also teaching them that the police aren't totally trustworthy
#8 By: Mister44, December 17th, 2013 13:03
Understandable, but the reasoning is more grounded in paranoia and fear than objective logic. Of course if you watch enough news you find female accomplices to abductions/sexual assaults - or worse - they give out their own kids for abuse.
Your approach sounds even handed. The world is safer than it has ever been, and yet people would shit if I let me kid the autonomy that I, or for real insanity, my father had. Road your bike a mile to school with no helmet? Call Social Services!
#9 By: bobo, December 17th, 2013 13:04
As I was driving home, I came upon a confused looking toddler wandering down a street in my neighborhood, by himself!
As I came to a stop to figure out how to help the situation, my wife's initial reaction is "WhereTF are his parents?", and my (male) initial reaction was "his parents are going to assume I'm trying to make off with him".
I noticed a woman a couple of houses away out in her front yard playing with her kids, I was able to catch her attention and let her take the lead. (my wife is handicapped and unable to offer much help at the time...)
#10 By: Salgak, December 17th, 2013 13:33
Given news I've seen, a not terribly competent one. I've seen SEVERAL reports of police doing sexual assaults on women. Things like using your police car, wearing your uniform and name tag, etc, tend to be dead giveaways. . .
#11 By: IMB, December 17th, 2013 13:35
I would have no problem with the shaming post conviction, especially for recidivists of rape. I don't, however, see a reason to shame someone who has a condition or disease, or those who are innocent unless proven guilty.
#12 By: Christopher Waldrop, December 17th, 2013 13:35
One sad aspect of this is that, even though he's innocent, after eight months of accusations, media attention, and investigation, I doubt this man will ever fully be "cleared". There will always be a cloud of suspicion hanging over him, and there will probably always be some whispers behind his back.
The police say they take these kinds of crimes very seriously. I wish they took them seriously enough to make sure they have the right person.
#13 By: Anthony Vicari, December 17th, 2013 13:38
DItto to your reaction. One time at Costco I was eating and a woman asked me to watch her two little boys (~5 and 7?) while she used the restroom. I immediately thought 1) I must seem really trustworthy, 2) If I were her I would have asked a staff member or one of the other families there, not a single young guy, and 3) I really hope no one notices how close attention I'm paying to the little kids at the next table.
#14 By: Jason Andresen, December 17th, 2013 13:47
As a guy it's a little unnerving just how much even the accusation of child molestation can ruin a person's reputation for life, even when it is completely unfounded and inaccurate. You'll see guys that practically run away from kids because they can't afford to have that kind of stigma attached to their name. It's really unhealthy, both for the men and also for society as a whole.
I don't know if it is still true, but it used to be really hard to get your name off of the Amber Alert list, even if you were falsely accused and acquitted. People were trying to fix this, but I don't know if they got traction, and the administration varied from state to state.
#15 By: Kip T W, December 17th, 2013 14:02
I'm sure there was a retraction on page C52. Happy ending!
#16 By: Missy_Pants, December 17th, 2013 14:09
As a lady who leaves the house at night and occasionally drinks (whore of Babylon obvs) ... dudes with badges are still on my predator radar to keep an eye on.
#17 By: rocketpj, December 17th, 2013 14:12
I once saw a little 3 or 4 year old boy lost at Costco as well, wandering around and screaming for his mommy. I was also torn about what to do - I was supporting a couple of adults w. disabilities at the time and having three big and strange(r than 'normal') men come up was not the right answer.
But I wasn't about to walk away and leave the poor little guy to his fate either. So we hung back about 20 feet and kept an eye on him without approaching. Before long a young couple spotted him and took him aside. They were extremely careful about not taking him 'away', just to the side of the aisle while they tried to get the attention of an employee. Just as the employee came over the kid perked up, yelled 'Mommy' and ran into his (very panicked looking) mom's arms.
It is a goddamn tragedy that our natural instinct - to help a scared child - has to be moderated by a need to avoid stepping into a false accusation of being a predator. I get it - I have two young kids as well - but I think we also lose something. I don't know how to balance it though.
#18 By: Robert_Sanders, December 17th, 2013 14:35
God bless the "UPSA": United Police States of America!
#19 By: Robert_Sanders, December 17th, 2013 14:44
Which will come back to bite people in the ass. "Hmmm, I think that kid is lost, but I'll look like a perv if I walk over to them." We are not only scared of criminals hiding behind every corner, we are now scared of looking like criminals. This is becoming more and more a fear-based society.
#20 By: BobKnetzger, December 17th, 2013 14:48
What's with Manhattan Beach and this stuff? (I used to live next door in Hermosa Beach.)
next page →