By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Motorist asks upon arrest, 'Is this real?'

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Shouldn’t there be an “allegedly “ sprinkled into this article somewhere?.....he may very well be guilty, but these details would seem more appropriate after conviction in my opinion....

Jeb Bladine

The article is filled with references to information coming from the law enforcement officer: "he identified," "VanCleave wrote in a probable cause affidavit," "VanCleave said," "he told me," etc. Agreed, there wasn't a "he said" with each sentence of the story, but it seemed clear that all the information came from statements and written reports by Officer VanCleave.

There is the argument, I suppose, that the newspaper should not report law enforcement claims prior to trial and adjudication. It's an age-old discussion in the business and among readers -- particularly those who find themselves the subject of law enforcement stories.


Thanks for the reply Jeb.
I had this conversation with your editor a couple years ago when two women were sued by a local dentist and the allegations were described repeatedly in multiple articles....My impression is that the average reader wont recall the results of that legal action (although the paper did publish the results) but I’m sure they remember the charges that were detailed before trial.....I just think it’s a reporter’s responsibility to make very clear the difference between facts and allegations..quoting an officer gives the impression that his statements are fact,....and once the details are published the bell can’t be unrung....that’s why I would advocate adding a word like “allegedly” now and then just to clarify that details have yet to be proven.

Christmas has Talons

Tagup, I agree newspaper reporting and premature television reporting have ruined lives with their assumptions and conclusions that are often missing vital facts.
I guess the accusations are often sexier than the whole story...


It seems that this article is written with a heavy emphasis on marijuana. Smoking marijuana alone does not generally cause someone to hallucinate. I would strongly suggest that other substances might be involved here or there is mental illness. I don't trust police officers to give a completely accurate account of their interactions with the public. I was raised to trust them, but one particular experience with law-enforcement has changed that forever. I'll add that I have never had a ticket or been arrested in my life so, if it can happen to can happen to anyone.

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