Cheney Free Press -

Is it poor reporting or is it poor policing?

Letter to the Editor


Last updated 3/11/2021 at 12:35pm

On Friday, March 5, my friend texted me and asked what I thought of the picture on the front page of this week’s (March 4) Free Press. I had not gotten the paper yet, so had to wait to respond.

Cheney cops standing around while an obviously handcuffed black man lay on the ground met my eyes. Surely, the headline would clear up the mystery as to why this man was laying on the ground. But the sterile headline read: “Crash damages building, vehicles.” A poor headline that does not give any idea of how combative the man must have become to warrant ending up on the ground.

But I should wait before being judgmental: Maybe there would be further explanation as I continued to read. The driver of a Dodge Durango was drunk; entered on 904 from the west end of Cheney at a “high rate of speed,” sideswiped a Ford pickup as it attempted to merge, then “went onto a sidewalk and rear-ended a Suzuki SX4,” which driver lost control and “careened along Union Street and slammed into the Pump Service building at 4 1st Street. The car” struck the cinder-block walk and impacted a garage bay door.” What happened to the Durango?

That was a lot of damage, all right. But why the hell is the black man still laying on the ground? No explanation is given.

The article says the driver of the Durango was “arrested on probable charges” of about three different driving offenses. I think the writer meant “probable cause,” since the arrestee was definitely charged. The charges sound feasible. But why is he still laying on the ground!?

Cheney people aren’t kept under a rock. Cheney people know the story of George Floyd. Either help the man up off the ground or explain in detail why he’s there in the first place. 

Mary Base



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