Thursday, September 04, 2008

Acquaintance Murder Case?

From ABC News:

The suspect confessed to the killing after he was arrested on an unrelated charge, Collins said. The suspect said he met Kevin Pravia, a 19-year-old student at Pace University, in Union Square at 6 a.m. Sunday.

The suspect said that Pravia asked him for drugs and that the two then went back to Pravia's apartment, Collins said. It was still unclear whether any drugs were sold or taken that day.

My heart goes out to this young man and his family over this inexcusable crime. Even if this unnamed suspect's claims about the victim are confirmed to be true that doesn't make this young man anything but an innocent victim. As innocent as if he'd been murdered on the street by a drive-by shooter.

Just as victim blaming in rape cases is inexcusable, victim blaming in murder cases is inexcusable.

From NY Times:

Mr. Pravia left the party, in Brooklyn, at about 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, the police said. Witnesses, they added, said he had seemed intoxicated and had to be helped into the cab. The police were trying to find the driver of the cab.

At many colleges women who go out partying are told to follow the buddy system, but college men are also vulnerable. Any difference in the rate of crime by gender is based on the beliefs and behavior of criminals and the difference in how different crime reports are treated.

College students -- especially at the beginning of the school year -- meet and trust many people they don't know well. Most of the time this trust has a neutral or positive outcome. College students can meet people who will turn out to be lifelong friends.

Trusting people isn't the problem, harming other people is the problem.

The answer isn't paranoia by potential victims, but effective responses from police and administrators to all crime reports on and off campus. It doesn't look like the unnamed suspect in this murder began with this crime.

This official response needs to include informing students about how different perpetrators operate in and around colleges -- in general and in specific to that campus.

However, if informing students about crime is limited to generic advice then that crime-fighting effort makes no student safer and gives criminals reasons to feel superior to their victims and their potential victims.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:58 AM   0 comments links to this post

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