A NewsKamloops editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
WAS A TIME when an accused was considered innocent until proven guilty. An organization called Creep Hunters, at least a couple of local media, and quite a few media watchers forgot all about that this week.
They convicted a man without a trial. The vigilante group from Kelowna claims to have entrapped a Kamloops man trying to prey on someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Monday, two local media published stories about it that included the man’s name. One published his photo.
And the comments started coming, assuming the man’s guilt and offering up judgment.
Other media outlets published stories about the allegations but they correctly blurred the photos to hide the man’s identity and did not publish his name.
But the damage is done.
Maybe the man did what the Kelowna posse claims he did, or not. It’s not for a self-appointed vigilante group, nor the media, nor the public to decide.
If police investigate, if charges are filed, if the matter gets to court, if a guilty verdict is delivered, then we can have our say and rightly express our outrage (and we should all be outraged about sexual predators).
But In the meantime, let’s be fair, let’s resist the urge to go rushing to judgment and so readily ruining somebody’s life.
Got an opinion? Leave a comment here or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.