Friday, February 12, 2010

Another Alleged False Police Report

As I was watching the news on KTTC last week, there was a brief mention that police believe a reported stabbing near Dodge Center, MN to be a false report. I kept waiting to be able to find something documenting this belief but still have been unable to find anything on this development. This isn't the first time I've heard this type of announcement related to a non-sex crime and not been able to find any documentation online.

I don't know what the police discovered which caused them to announce their disbelief of a man's claim that he had been flagged down by the driver of a car sitting at the side of a county road and subsequently robbed and stabbed.

The reason this announcement and the lack of information is important is that many people use news coverage posted online to make claims about the number and type of reports police believe to be false. Too often these statements of belief are repeated as if they are statements of proven crimes when they are allegations which may or may not be followed by criminal charges.

This belief by the police in this case seemed to be nearly non-news by those who received this information. When someone makes a false report of a stabbing there isn't the same backlash against everyone else who reports being stabbed.

This backlash isn't caused by the number of verified false reports of sex crimes, it is caused by bias which can lead an investigator to decide that a report is false when that report was in fact true and to then coerce a confession in order to quickly and cleanly close the case.

I don't know if this man who reported being robbed and stabbed made a false report, but I know I want all decisions in that case and all other cases to be based on credible evidence.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 2:12 PM   0 comments links to this post


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