New Rochelle Taxi Driver Beaten with Baseball Bats and Robbed

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A taxi driver responding to a call on Charles Street in New Rochelle's West End was beaten and robbed last night.

When the taxi driver arrived to pick up the far he was attacked by an unknown number of young men. He was beaten with baseball bats. The assailants stole an unspecified amount of cash. The suspects were decided described as male/black. No further details were available at the time of publication.

This is the second baseball bat attack in New Rochelle in recent days. A woman was assaulted by three people wielding baseball bats last week.

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Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Tom Jeferstahl on Sat, 02/18/2012 - 23:16

Brian, perhaps they should also avoid using gender references and the number of people involved or maybe even the street it happened on and the weapon used.... Brian, I understand your concern but you can get to a point where the information is so censored it makes no sense reporting it. The facts are the facts even if it offends someones sense of political correctness.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Sun, 02/19/2012 - 00:10

I would go further...

I believe that most people who read a news account of a crime that does NOT mention race assume that the suspect(s) are black and the news organization is concerned about getting complaints so they omit race.

I have provided examples of how the Journal News, for example, does mention race when the suspect is white but leaves it our when the suspect black.

I will report whatever description the police provide that might help them arrest a criminal suspect -- whether white, black, hispanic, asian or whatever else -- and leave it to other outlets to pick and choose when to report race or ethnicity.

I will leave it to you to decide which is the more reliable approach -- treat every suspect the same or, like the JN, pick and choose in order to avoid offending a particular group of people.

Karen on Fri, 02/17/2012 - 22:48

Just out of curiosity, who made the "decision" that the suspects were male/black??

Above you all on Sat, 02/18/2012 - 00:44

Not decided, but described, sometimes people make spelling errors.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Sat, 02/18/2012 - 15:57
Title: silly mac

My new mac has a tendency to fix my spelling automatically.

I guess I need to disable that feature.

Brian Sussman on Sat, 02/18/2012 - 20:38

Personally, I avoid Macs, so my comment is from a Windows perspective, but probably is relevent, especially if you are using Word.

Use your spell checker, but turn off its automatic function. As Ronald Reagan said, "trust, but verify".

On the other hand, don't even bother with the grammar checker.

That said, I am always bothered by racial descriptions in news articles, unless such information is truly required. But if descriptions are important, I'd like to know what color their eyes were, their height, weight, etc.

If the point in describing their race, was to make it easier to spot them in the future, then as complete a description as possible should be provided. If that was not the point, then there should be no racial description. Hopefully they will be caught before threatening or hurting others.

Above you all on Sun, 02/19/2012 - 02:18

If you take a police report that says the suspects were male black or male white and the media put it in the new as "male suspects" your not telling the story accurately.

You have to remember that the suspects determine what they look like...not anyone else!

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Sat, 02/18/2012 - 21:44
Title: suspects

Brian,

We typically report whatever descriptions we get. In this case, this is what we got.

If you see a bunch of young black guys walking around with the baseball bats at night in February you might want to figure they are not heading to City Park for a softball game.

We will always try to report descriptions of suspects to help catch them - race, ethnicity, age range, size, clothing, etc.

If that offends anyone, I could really not care less. I would figure that law abiding people of any race, ethnicity, age, or size would join me in wishing to help the police catch criminals.

If that makes you, Brian, uncomfortable, I suggest you get hold of police scanner and list to it for a few hours a day. I believe you will find that we are using the exact same terminology used by the NRPD.

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