Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Dragged, Beaten, and Robbed

The Star Tribune finally covered the story of the 15 year-old boy who was dragged from a Minneapolis Metro Transit bus, beaten and robbed. There are a number of interesting twists to the media coverage, as well as the story itself.

The Strib used the word "riot" in a story about North Minneapolis, albeit quoting from the formal charges filed by authorities. This is noteworthy because "melee" was the term of art to describe racial unrest in 2002. The Star Tribune coverage of the 2002 riot was similar in that the state's largest newspaper was late with the story.

None of the coverage (here, here, and here) mentions this as a "hate crime." The local Fox/UPN affiliates did describe the taunts of "white boy." The Strib coverage implies that it is being investigated as a hate crime, but never uses the term. Again, this echoes the 2002 riot, where an the H-word was rarely used, despite the beating of a Latino journalist by black individuals during a race riot.

Come to think of it, why haven't we heard from any of the Twin Cities neighborhood activist/racial hustlers about this incident? Where is the great healing hand of Mayor R.T. Rybak?

The media accounts differ on some important details. Was it the Tr- Tr- Crips, or the Tr--Six Vice Lords? Was it only a wallet that was stolen?

One of the television news accounts suggested that the victim escaped to a convenience store that was "known" to have video cameras (a convenience store was a refuge in the 2002 riots, too). This seems odd because it was reportedly the first time the victim rode the bus, not to mention the fact that this was not his stop. How would he know about this particular store having cameras? Moreover, being outnumbered as he was, the victim probably did not escape as much as he was let go. None of this is to blame the victim; we save that for school shooting and hunting rampage victims.

The media accounts do agree on one of the most troubling aspects of this case: the bus driver and the other passengers let this happen. The driver shouted that he had them on camera, and then drove off. Shame, shame, shame.

Finally, the Star Tribune story concludes with a reference to "the bus line where the fight took place..." (emphasis mine). What fight? The kid was dragged off the bus, beaten, and robbed.

I don't know if the coverage (or lack thereof) has anything to do with the mainstream media's agenda on issues such as mass transit, crime, or race relations. I only know that it is an example of bad reporting.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the last paragraph the best..."Gibbons called such altercations rare, and Metro Transit police said the bus line where the fight took place is not known for such problems."

Obviously he hasn't riden on the #5 recently...

April 13, 2005 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Bill in So. Cal. said...

Shame on who? Shame on the passengers? Be clear on exactly what they should have done to avoid your epithet of "shame."

Maybe there was a father on board with his kids, or a mother and her baby, or a tired, flabby, businessman. Yes they should have thrown their briefcases and diaper bags at the criminals!

What would you have done? What should the driver have done differently. Be specific.

It's nice to envision the passengers rising up as a body to defend the victim, but the likely result of anyone attempting to stand up to the gang members would be 2 victims, instead of 1. And maybe dead instead of injured victims because they would have been seen as disrespecting the punks.

Get real. Unless I was armed and had at least one buddy I would have sat still and tried to surreptitiously call the cops while pretending I was looking out the window. You would have done the same thing if you were smart.

April 13, 2005 11:32 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Bus driver should not have left. He could have done many things ranging from honking to jumping into the fray. If he were concerned for his own safety or that of the other passengers, he could have closed all doors and remained there to witness to the incident, and a possible getaway for the victim.

Passengers did nothing. No surreptitious phone call. No shouting. Nothing.

The creeps obviously picked this kid for a reason. His stature, his demeanor, his race, riding alone, whatever. The other passengers were not targets for some reason. They should have intervened in some fashion.

A fair fight is one thing. A kidnapping and beating is quite another.

Maybe I would have frozen up in such a situation. But then shame on me, too.

April 13, 2005 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Dan Hamilton said...

Yes, unless you were armed trying to stop this, would just be giving them victim number 2 to PLAY with.

Well, why wasn't someone armed? Doesn't the State TRUST its lawabiding citizens? I doubt it!

And some people wonder why States have Concealed Carry. doesn't mean that this couldn't happen. But the Gang bangers would have to run the risk that someone would be armed. Now they KNOW noone will be. You know the criminal safe workplace laws otherwise known as gun laws.

April 13, 2005 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the races of people in this incident were reversed what would the outcry be then? A lot different I'll tell you that! The hypocrisy of our Minneapolis liberals is sickening. Where's RT when you need him to put the hammer down on a racial hate crime? Where are Mr. Moss and the other so-called community leaders forming a rally against it? This just reinforces the reality that 'minorities' can be racist and there is no penalty or outcry of injustice. And our Minneapolis 'liberal' leadership just stands by an lets it happen. Their silence speaks volumes.

April 13, 2005 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Airkings said...

The Hennepin County Attorney's office advised me the case will be prosecuted by the City Of Minneapolis instead, because the charges they are leveling are MISDEMEANORS! And you want me to come to your city and spend my money? Thanks, but no thanks.

April 15, 2005 9:32 PM  
Anonymous The MoM said...

I'll let you all know I'm the MOM! The bus driver did call when he thought he was in danger early on and then just before "THE STOP" he called the cops off and said everyting calmed down, while MY SON was torn from the bus screaming this is not my stop, hanging on to the seats for dear life (it took five guys to rip his hands from the poles)his head bouncing down the stairs the bus driver did nothing absolutely did not call for help just said i got you on camera and drove off while a passenger told him "oh man arnt you gonna do anything oh man" repeating several times -he couldn't believe it himself! You could hear the first kick to the head on film and then he drove off-no phone call. The police officer at the scene went off at the bus driver cause he was a block away, yes he had been there for the previous call waiting to see if he'd call again! The officer was so furious I thought he himself would drag the driver (a black man)off the bus himself and beat him to a pulp! My son only knew of the camera because the clerk says stay behind the counter I have cameras your safe here. It was two gangs both of which were mentioned for this reason they took my son to prove something to each other I suppose. I hope the bus driver got what he deserves, they wouldn't tell us anything about him. My son only wanted rehabilitation for these boys impressing the court immensly with this, he is not prejudice and just wanted to see them get help, I only say this because I think he is wonderful for being so forgiving. For this reason he has gotten an apology letter from one of the boys who was sent to New York and is doing well. The number 5 bus has had many incidents, just months before Nate there was a girl dragged off by a bunch of girls and beaten with a soup can in a sock to this day she has no sight in one eye! Well thanks for letting me vent, MOM

March 25, 2008 11:13 AM  
Blogger Peter said...


Please send me an e-mail. "Lawdog" and then put the little @ symbol, and then put the domain, which is visi.com

March 26, 2008 12:42 AM  

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