Monday, February 21, 2011

"Private" Sacramento memorial becomes very public when the mourners assault a news crew

All you can do sometimes is shake your head in disgust.

At 2:45 on Monday morning, Chester Jackson was shot and killed in the parking lot of an IHOP in the Natomas area of Sacramento. Apparently, a verbal altercation inside the IHOP spilled out into the parking lot where the guns came out. Haven't they learned that nothing good happens after midnight?

Later that day, friends and family of the murder victim gathered in the IHOP parking lot for some kind of memorial service. Local news crews covering the story - including one from the local Fox affiliate - approached the gathering of people in order to get one of your garden-variety soundbites for the upcoming news coverage, i.e. "How did you know the victim?" "How do you feel right now?" "What was the victim like as a person?"

That is when the mourners turned into a mob. They began screaming at the reporter and his female camera operator. As the two news crewmembers backed away, the mob charged after them, including some "mourners" who ran there from another parking lot, and began their assault. The female camera operator was pulled by the hair to the ground and kicked in the face, while the male reporter was punched several times in the face.

I know news crews can seem invasive sometimes in their efforts to get a story, and I know the mourners were in a high emotional state to begin with, but there is no excuse for this assault.

The mourners kept yelling at the news crew that this was a private memorial service. If you want privacy, then hold your service at your home, or a church. If you choose to publicly gather at an IHOP parking lot where the crime actually took place, then expect there to be news crews and curious reporters.

So now, this so-called "private" memorial service (which again, took place in an IHOP parking lot at the scene of the crime) is being covered by not only all the local news stations, but also has a link on the Drudge Report, which at last count had over 27 million hits in the last 24 hours. Nice job keeping it private, geniuses.

These reporters are there for you to talk to the camera and tell us what a fine, upstanding citizen the victim was, and how he didn't deserve to be shot down like this - isn't that what we always see during these man-on-the-street interviews in cases like this? Instead, after witnessing the video of the beatdown of the reporters committed by people who consorted with the the victim, I am left with the impression that Chester Jackson probably had it coming. If you think I am mistaken and/or insensitive for looking at it that way, I suggest you take it up with his fisticuff-happy family and friends.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

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