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.
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.