Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Defense, vigilantism, and bias

I found this story this morning about a feisty woman who tracked down and caught one of the men who had just robbed her house, and then her friends held him down in the woods while the woman issued a nasty beating.

Now, I could care less about the man's boo boos on his face, or the fact that he got a severe ass kicking from a woman, but I like to point out that this is actual vigilantism and not self defense. The woman and her friends got in a car and intercepted the man, who was no longer a threat, on the other side of the woods from her house and kicked his ass.

Since this coverage is local news, I won't judge them as it's a good story, but CNN found it newsworthy enough to post the entire five minute interview with the woman, so I have no problem hammering them. Had this been a story about a citizen gunning down an armed robber in the local Kroegers in obvious self defense, he or she would have been labeled as a 'vigilante' who 'took the law into his own hands.' This woman really did take the law into her own hands by searching for and catching this man who was not a threat and beating his face in, and she gets labeled as something of a hero. Watch the video. She catches a home intruder and assaults him, and she gets five minutes of airtime on CNN for it.

That is a blatant double standard, not to mention inaccurate.

I wonder if she would have received the same treatment if she had shot him to death in her house. Would she still be looked at as the smiling young hero who "h[eld] man for police," and would the deceased scumbag be branded as someone who "may have picked the wrong. . home to break into?"

Probably not.

With that said, good for her.
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