Greg Forney: Naming suspects


Naming suspects

I am extremely disappointed in your decision to publish the man's name in your article "Man arrested after car crash." Inclusion of his name only further exacerbates an unfortunate situation. It also brings unwanted and unfair attention to a great and prominent family in our community, besmirching their well-deserved solid reputation on nothing but allegations, allegations which I think will eventually be determined to be mistaken. Unfortunately, determination of the allegations will take way too much time, and preclude this man and his family by association of any presumption of innocence.

I would think it much more appropriate to let the full legal system determine who are the wrongdoers in our community, and once determined, if you want to announce names to the community, so be it. But by associating the name of a fine young man with drug possession, devoid of any real evidence, and based on pure speculation is completely mean spirited and reckless.

As a reader, what I could deduce is that one vehicle lost control on the ice and hit a pole. Later, another car lost control and hit the first car. Finally, a man lost control on the ice and hit the patrol car parked on the scene, presumably investigating the first two crashes.

What I do want to see the Pilot & Today report include would be answers to questions such as:

How and why did the investigating officer park in an area already proven to be unmanageable because of ice on the road? I would like to know if the officer is culpable for his car being hit because it was parked in a place known to be unsafe.

Also, I would like to know under what provocation the officer found it necessary to search for drugs in a car that slipped on the ice as had several before it. Were the other cars that crashed searched for drugs, too?

Just how did the arresting officer determine he discovered psilocybin mushrooms? It is an amazing stretch for an expert to make such a determination visually, let alone a patrolman. Could an overzealous patrolman determine that a ginger root is psilocybin mushrooms? Is anyone safe from such a mistake? And what happens in the three weeks it takes to determine whatever is turned in is not psilocybin mushrooms? The patrolman is congratulated for his diligence, albeit wrong, while the victim is never exonerated in any meaningful way.

Consider carefully your power to point a finger; you can easily hurt the wrong people.

Greg Forney

Steamboat Springs


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