I am wondering if I had children if this next story would affect me in a different way than it has so far.
So there is this man who allegedly brutally raped an 11 year old girl after she dropped off a sibling at a day care in the middle of the day. She was found bleeding and dazed. The police were outraged, the poor girl's family was outraged; and, understandably, the citizens who heard the story were outraged, as well.
But here is where the story gets a little crazy: The police union issued a statement naming Jose Carrasquillo as a person of interest, and they offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. They even said that there would be a pay out within an hour of his capture. In effect, they put a bounty on his head.
Thanks to the publicity (Or no thanks, if you are Jose Carrasquillo) some folks in the Kensington neighborhood where the poor child was raped, spotted a man fitting the police description,chased him down, and delivered street justice by beating him within an inch of his life. Finally, the police came on the scene and rescued and arrested Jose at the same time.
Most people are saying serves him right, and if he is in fact guilty, I am too. (All indicators are pointing to the fact that he is the right guy) But what if this wasn't the right guy? Is it right for the police to issue a statement such as this and photos of a suspect for this type of a heinous crime? Was he just a suspect or a lot more? The police are saying that they did have every right to act the way that they did because the man was wanted on a bench warrant and had seventeen prior arrests. But did they?
Maybe it's the lawyer in me, or maybe it's because I have seen mob violence and street justice carried out in my native country in ways that you can't imagine. (Believe me, it's not a pretty sight. That stuff can have a lasting effect on you.) For whatever the reason, I have never liked when mob justice ruled the day. I understand anger and I understand raw emotions, but I also respect the rule of law, and no matter how despicable the act itself was, we have rules in this country that must be followed before we punish the actor.
Jose, if you did rape that little girl, you deserve everything you have coming to you. If you did not,well, just remember; street justice doesn't only happen in Third World countries.