All weekend I’ve been caught short by the thought of Verlee Jones. I’m just sitting there, doing whatever it is I’m doing and I think about her hearing her brother say to her, “It’s her. She looked like she was scared and frightened.”
It’s hard for me to even write this post–thinking about Verlee Jones and her brother having to look at their dead niece on the internet, seeing that last look of horror on her face. What kind of person would do that? What kind of person would post those pictures?
“The family may be upset, but what serves the greater need — the family not being upset or the community being alerted to how these people died?” you asked.
Here is my question for you: Do you not see that Shindri Roberson and her family are members of your community? Do you not see that the people who died on Lester Street are members of your community?
You say, in your sorry apology,
I still totally stand by the decision I made but a person leaving a comment asked whether I would want her child to see the picture of its mother and have that image as the last memory of a mother.I don’t know as to whether or not she has a child but I decided that the facial image was improper for her child to see if she has one.
You decide to take down the picture of her face because of some child you couldn’t even bother to do enough reporting to find out whether existed? What about her sister, who is real? What about her aunt and uncle, who also are real? What about her friends, her loved ones, her community?
As I said over at Newscoma’s site, there are legitimate reasons for you to do what you did. If you thought the police were lying about the cause of her death, you could have posted photos that proved that. Or, as in the case of Emmitt Till, if her family had come to you and said, “We want the world to see what happened to our loved one,” you would have had the right to post those photoes.
But posting them, just because you can? It’s wrong.
You need to ask yourself if this is really about protecting the community or about advancing your war with the Memphis police?
Because, really, what you did does a whole lot of damage to your community, too. And some day, god willing, you’ll have to face those members of your community who are related to that poor woman and explain yourself.
p.s. Also, I see no apology on your site for blaming the “The gang MS-13 a Mexican gang that is known to be in this city” when it turns out that the killer is Jesse Dotson.
and p.p.s., even a cursory trip around the internet would have revealed to you that typifying MS-13 as a “Mexican gang” is problematic at best.