Readers Write: Is the Town Crier biased against African-Americans?

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Editor: 

I was surprised while viewing the paper online, turning to page 2, featured prominently at the top of the page, a large photo of a young man named Nasir David Powell, 18, an IAA student.

Article by Jack Clark indicated Powell is charged with five felony sexual counts. May I say clearly, I definitely believe these are horrendous charges. If he is found guilty, it’s even more disconcerting because the alleged victims are children. However, what struck me acutely, reading the Crier for the year, there are others — charged, found guilty and have been sentenced — and I have yet to see their faces in the Crier.

Cases in point: Ira Robert Ellis, 37, sentenced, multiple felonies and misdemeanors; Frank Gutierrez, 67, arrested twice, various drug felonies; Lisa Marie Brown, 40, hit and run, meth sales, manslaughter; Jeff Allen Major, (age not given) sentenced, repeat sex offender

How is it that Powell’s face figures so prominently but none of the aforementioned persons’ pictures are featured? I do not know ethnicity of the others, but it’s obvious that Mr. Powell is African-American. I cannot help but ponder whether the others are not African-Americans.

Irregardless of ethnicity, why can’t we see their faces. This information is available from law enforcement?

Again, if Mr. Powell is guilty he surely deserves to be punished. Whatever the sentence, as a young 18-year-old man, the punishment will be compounded by the fact that he will have a life of ruin for many years . The others have prior records for repeated offenses; most have been found guilty; some have even been sentenced, yet we haven’t seen their faces. It’s no secret — facts are clear — young African-American males are incarcerated disproportionately for their transgressions.

Also clear, life for them often begins at a loss, and too often ends as such. It is also factual that media throughout the country have routinely covered these circumstances prominently, unlike any other group.

I certainly hope the Crier is not a part of this kind of media bias and emphasis. If I missed the pictures of the others, I stand corrected. However, after re-reading all of the issues this year, I simply do not see their faces, especially prominently presented.

Shelley M Ferrand, JD, Ph.D.

Idyllwild

Editor’s note: We are not always able to acquire a mug shot on deadline. In the case of the Mountain Center Market burglars, we ran their mug shots on page 1 in the Sept. 24, 2015, issue. Neither were African-American. We also ran page-1 mugshots of the suspected Pinyon murderers who also were not African-American. We received Ira Robert Ellis’ mugshot (see p.2) only this past Monday.

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  1. I think this is a good point. What is also interesting is that this newspaper neglected to include what charges Mr. Powell did plead to. If you look it up, there was receiving oral copulation from a minor, and then a string of also consensual (yet illegal) sex with older minors. What I would like to know is why the school handled this situation this way and it seems like, ruined this young man’s life. It was clear that this was “hooking up” in the context of high school, and it is clear that the school itself allowed things to happen this way.

    I am also sure that there are many other relationships going on in this school and this news should delve into that.

    As a side note, it was revealed by the accusers that forcible rape was not committed, and that the investigators were “jumping the gun”, to persecute this young Black male, headed to college.

    It is imperative that the media take an unbiased view of these young children.

    Reply
  2. Reply to Elliot August 6, 2016, 12:26 am

    You wrote: “consensual (yet illegal) sex with older minors. ”
    Response: Minors are not in a legal position to grant consent. You can debate “she looks like she was 18” but the law is clear. There is a gray area for age 16.

    Reply
  3. Reply to Elliot August 6, 2016, 12:32 am

    You wrote: “why the school handled this situation this way and it seems like, ruined this young man’s life.”
    Response: The school didn’t break the law and commit statutory rape. The school didn’t encourage or facilitate his act of committing statutory rape.
    Personal responsibility starts with the individual.
    You fail to see that the school was defending the victims (who are the REAL and ONLY victims) and preventing future victims.

    When a person does the crime, the right thing to do is to be responsible for one’s actions and own up to it, and start the process of making amends.

    Reply
  4. Reply to Elliot August 6, 2016, 12:38 am

    You wrote: “It was clear that this was “hooking up” in the context of high school, and it is clear that the school itself allowed things to happen this way.
    I am also sure that there are many other relationships going on in this school ”

    Response: Writing CLEAR twice and stating that you are SURE has no value, unless you were a present witness to the crime.
    It may be CLEAR TO YOU as a personal interpretation from your research, but it is not common knowledge that these are CLEAR events to the general population.

    If you are not a witness, but state that this is CLEAR and you are SURE, then you must present your expert professional credentials, and explanation.

    Reply
  5. Reply to Elliot August 6, 2016, 12:44 am

    You wrote: “I am also sure that there are many other relationships going on in this school and this news should delve into that.”

    Response: So to that logic, if a bank robber was caught, the newspaper reporting the news must research other bank robbers that were not caught, with the purpose of exonerating the bank robber that was caught?

    The trigger for the arrest is not teenagers having sex. The trigger is that victims of minor age, under the age of consent, AND their legal guardians (parents / school) filed a police report.

    Reply
  6. Reply to Elliot August 6, 2016, 12:53 am

    You wrote: “As a side note, it was revealed […] that the investigators were “jumping the gun”, to persecute this young Black male, headed to college.”

    Response: REVEALED definition is “make previously unknown or secret information known to others.”

    Please provide evidence of this REVELATION. Do you have an email or text message or voice mail recording or camera recording of police investigators conspiring to PERSECUTE?
    or is it that the police investigators were in a police station far away, when they responded to the call, which the call from the parents/school/guardians was the trigger for the process of the investigators showing up.

    Reply
  7. Elliot,
    As you are a reader of the Town Crier, please review this article:
    http://idyllwildtowncrier.com/2016/06/03/powell-pleads-guilty-five-charges-sentenced/
    Powell pleads guilty to five charges.
    Powell was sentenced to serve 300 days.
    160 days of his jail time will be served in a work-release program to begin immediately.
    […] ordered to register with local police as a sex offender.

    Please note that the days of 1950s and 1960s of the Fonzi-types “hooking up” with minors is no longer a macho status. That’s statutory rape and depends on the minor/victims age may also be pedophilia. 100% sex offender.

    Reply

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