Crime doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate

The Covington News - - OPINION - AM­BER PIT­MAN Am­ber Pittman is the web mas­ter and crime re­porter for The News. She can be reached at apittman@cov­news.com

I have writ­ten about crime and courts for more years than I care to ad­mit at this point, and dur­ing that time, one thing has re­mained the same. No mat­ter the time of year, the so­cio-eco­nomic sta­tus, the color of skin or the age, crime does not dis­crim­i­nate. It’s a great equal­izer and can af­fect any­one.

One of the best things about the job I do is that I get to tell peo­ple what’s hap­pen­ing in their com­mu­nity, and that in­cludes crime. As aw­ful as it is, we want to know where the most danger­ous com­mu­ni­ties are, where we should and should not shop af­ter dark, and there’s a voyeuris­tic part of all of us that thrives on the de­tails.

It’s the re­al­ity TV cul­ture — I get it. It’s the same thing that we have in­side of us that makes us crane our necks on the high­way to see a wreck. And, be­cause I’m crafty, I can tell which sto­ries peo­ple read the most. I’ll give you three guesses.

You’ve got it; it’s crime, crime and more crime. Peo­ple just can’t seem to look away from it.

That be­ing said, you don’t get to pick and choose your crime. You don’t get to pick and choose who is charged with a crime.

When I came into the of­fice a week ago Fri­day, the only thing peo­ple were talk­ing about was an in­ci­dent at Force Fit­ness in So­cial Cir­cle; about how some­one went af­ter some­one else, and win­dows were bro­ken.

When there’s that much pub­lic in­ter­est, you are al­most forced to write about it. And you guys read it.

In one day, more than 400 peo­ple read that story. They read it from their com­put­ers; they read it from their phones; and they clicked on the Face­book link to take them to the story. And they com­mented.

I love com­ments. I love when our read­ers in­ter­act on Face­book, when they ques­tion rea­sons be­hind things. And I don’t mind when they blast me. I’m used to it by now, and I’m a pretty tough cookie.

But I did ac­tu­ally get a lit­tle ag­gra­vated with peo­ple say­ing that it wasn’t a story be­cause he was a nice guy and the man he went af­ter got what he de­served.

Plenty of peo­ple we write about are prob­a­bly nice folks who got caught up in the mo­ment. That doesn’t make their ac­tions any more le­gal or any less news­wor­thy.

You don’t get to pick and choose your crime. You want to hear about the mur­ders, the mo­lesta­tions, the rob­beries and the rapes? Then you get to hear about the nice guys who snap and do things they shouldn’t some­times.

Look, I don’t know th­ese peo­ple. I’m sure they’re good peo­ple who do what they’re sup­posed to and love God, their coun­try and their ma­mas, but that doesn’t mean I — or any other me­dia out­let — should turn a blind eye to some­thing that was ob­vi­ously of in­ter­est to the pub­lic.

Crime doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate, and nei­ther do I. You want to stay out of the pa­per? Then act right.

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