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Article published June 12, 2014

Respect his privacy

GG Dale Lipan
Butler

I understand Butler is a small town and a crime involving a cop makes a better headline. However, the handling and coverage of the shooting of an armed man by an off-duty state trooper is outrageous.
I’m not a journalist and won’t claim to be, but there’s no journalistic integrity compromised by not publishing the trooper’s name, address, when he bought his home or for how much, when he served in Iraq and so forth. At one point, a local news station provided an aerial photo of the man’s house and correlating streets marked out.
This may seem unreasonable on my end, but those who do not work in the law enforcement community do not understand the sacred nature that is our privacy. It’s not logical to think this entire incident could take place without simple facts of names and locations being released, I get that. What is not logical is the reasoning behind why this trooper’s entire life story needed to be published as well.
There are plenty of people in this country with vendettas against law enforcement and military personnel and are merely looking for a reason to act out. This week’s unsolicited shooting of two Las Vegas police officers is the most recent example of this.
However unlikely, perhaps the media might use a little bit more discretion in what it deems pertinent information. Trooper Knirnschild’s life is forever changed as it is; perhaps not making his wife and children targets as well could have made this tragedy a slight bit easier to cope with.



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