How to Solve a Crime: Report It to the Police

I apparently wasn’t clear enough about the alleged assault on Steven Crowder on Tuesday to be understood by the people sent over by the right wing noise machine. So let me try to say it very simply.

If Crowder was assaulted, by all means let’s prosecute the assailant.

My post was intended as a warning that naive local journalists should not rely exclusively on videos from people who have a history of creating firestorms around heavily edited videos launched through Drudge to Fox. There is a long history of James O’Keefe associates just doing that. If the right wants to report events with any credibility, they’d be well served to avoid that route.

A number of people–including the NYT–have exposed why Crowder’s original video was problematic.

Unfortunately for Mr. Crowder, a look at the video broadcast on the Sean Hannity show appears to show quite clearly that he left out an important section of the footage when he put together his edit. A section of the Fox News broadcast preserved by the Web site Mediaite shows that Mr. Hannity’s producers at Fox News started the clip five seconds earlier than Mr. Crowder did. What the extra footage reveals is the man who punched Mr. Crowder being knocked to the ground seconds before and then getting up and taking a swing at the comedian.

But aside from the obvious editing in the Crowder video–possibly hiding that the punch was not the first event in the altercation–I pointed out that Crowder didn’t report the event to any of the 350 cops who were brought in to make sure something like this didn’t happen.

Unlike most of the people engaging in this, I’m a MI taxpayer. Which means I paid my share of the reported $25,000 an hour (which would add up to something like $300,000 for the day) to make sure we had 350 out of town cops on site to prevent violence.

And yet Crowder chose not to report his alleged assault to those 350 cops.

That’s the other reason–aside from the obvious heavy edits–why I don’t immediately accept Crowder’s story. Why, when taxpayers like me paid good money to make sure this event was heavily patrolled, would you go and edit a video (possibly–though I haven’t been able to confirm the time of the alleged attack–for up to 3 hours) rather than tell the cops?

Why would you let the crime scene grow cold?

Why wouldn’t you report the crime immediately to make sure you could prosecute the alleged assailant?

This is basic law enforcement stuff. But as a Michigander, I’m rather offended by the right wingers who suggest I should be happy that Crowder wasted the money we spent on cops.

We have cops. Their job is to solve crimes. Crowder alleges a crime was committed. Yet (last I heard–he didn’t respond to my question about this) he didn’t even talk to the neutral arbiters about his side of the story.

That suggests, to me at least, he’s not very interested in neutral fact-finding about what occurred.


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5 Responses to How to Solve a Crime: Report It to the Police

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @_JGR Now, I am NOT saying I think that should work here, but with a cop, I think you have a spitting chance with a good expert.
bmaz @_JGR That it was reflexive under the heat+stress of the moment, and therefore not premeditated. Trustme, there are "cop experts" for this.
emptywheel @richietynan He's not REALLY a teenager, just claiming to be.
emptywheel @richietynan The panel needs to know a hacker claiming to be a teenager just got into FBI's counterpart of that system.
emptywheel Don't tell the terrorists the FBI knows some people have separate work phone numbers or they'll win!
bmaz RT @WilliamBaude: Self-recommending and much-needed: Eugene Volokh on the "Speech integral to criminal conduct" exception
emptywheel @richietynan It's actually useful to see how they rationalize this stuff.
emptywheel @richietynan Is this streaming?
emptywheel Seriously people. The FBI considered it an 11-year secret that they can get day AND evening phone numbers w/an NSL. Day AND evening!
emptywheel Govt clusterfuckery. The govt redacted this footnote in September.
emptywheel @seansposito They're already mandated to do that. They just don't care and Congress won't make them care.
emptywheel Also unsealed by @nickcalyx is full opinion. FBI had wanted to hide this info, which it revealed in Marathon trial.
December 2012
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