VIEWPOINT: What would you decide?

A story published on Sunday left out what some in the newsroom called a key piece of information.
Sandusky Register Staff
Aug 25, 2011

 

A story published on Sunday left out what some in the newsroom called a key piece of information.

Bryan Jones was asleep on a couch in the living room of his parents’ home -- with a shotgun resting in his lap -- on July 11, 2010, when two Sandusky County deputies shot and killed him after a 20-minute standoff. Jones awoke to the terrifying light and sound of a flash bang grenade detonated by the deputies and was killed moments later, hit with five rounds.

An autopsy photo obtained by the Register showed that Jones’ arm was blown off when the two officers fired a total of 14 at him, nine of which were high velocity ammunition designed to do the maximum amount of physical damage when it hits a target.

Some members of the Register news team advocated that the newspaper should publish the autopsy photos online, with an explicit warning for readers about graphic content of the photos before they click to see the image.

Those in favor of the publish-with-warning approach said the photo best illustrated the death of Bryan Jones, and the indiginity of it.

Others argued that publishing the photo online – even with a warning – was offensive and sensationalistic, or at least might be viewed that way by some.

It’s an age-old question in every newsroom. Ultimately, in this instance, the editors chose not to publish the Jones' photo.

But the editors of Rolling Stone magazine, when faced with a similar decision, opted to publish graphic photos in print for its Sept. 1 edition, using two images that show the grisly deaths of three men at the hands of Mexican drug lords.

The question likely will surface again in the Register newsroom, and we want to know what you think.

Vote in the SanduskyRegister.com poll here. See the original online story here.

The above is an editorial Viewpoint published in Thursday's Register. The opinions of the Register Editoral Board, local columnists and readers are published six days a week on the Register's editorial page.

Comments

big_d

The fact that you described it the way you did, tells me all I need to know. I vote no on the photo, even online. If it was my family, I sure wouldn't want it out there.

Truth or Dare

If I read correctly, they  not only threw in a flash bomb, whatever to wake him, but he was also shot IN THE BACK of the head, right?  Personally, don't need pics, the orginal story gave a visual.  What I would like to know is who decides who sits on a Grand Jury, and how are they picked?  Another thought, were they presented with photos of the scene, the autopsy report as well?

youngfamily

I would not want to see pictures like that published.

Centauri

An autopsy photo obtained by the Register showed that Jones’ arm was blown off when the two officers fired a total of 14 at him

Blown off?  Meaning that Jones' arm was detached from his body?

I did question using 223 ammunition in close quarters.

Graphic photos work on the emotions of people. Prosecutors in court use graphic photos to work on the emotions of the jurors.

Do they still show graphic photos and movies in driver's education?

Do some of the readers who voted against showing graphic photos support sending young people off to some needless war?

I have no problem with the Sandusky Register showing the graphic photos of Jones but talk to his family first to see how they feel about it.

I may post a graphic gunshot wound but feel that it will be quickly deleted. Some people may be offended and demand that it be deleted. Most people unfamiliar with firearms and bullet ballistics feel that a bullet makes a small entrance and exit wound. Bullets do a lot of damage to the flesh and bones of a human body.

 

Cityslicker

Leave the graphic scenes for the jury to view. Just print the facts of the case that you know.

 

Darkhorse

I don't think graphic pictures should be made public.  Someone needs to have some respect for the situation and for the family.  The news has gone too far if they print these pictures.  

Centauri

The Sandusky Register could publish the photo(s) by using a link to the photos. Those who do not want to see graphic photos will not click on the link. Those who want to see the photos could click on the link.

Providing a click on link to graphic photos gives readers a choice to view or not view graphic photos. This option would not be available to the print version of the Sandusky Register.

Taxpayer

There is a lot of controversy over this tactical entry.  The main objective is to enter and neutralize the threat without KILLING anyone.  There is NO question on the use of .223 weapons.  It is the standard for LE tactical teams.  The smaller agencies with NO published policy and procedure, NO controls on tactical ops and NO monthly training generates "trade magazine warriors" who use and do what ever they want.  It is easy for the Register to DEMONIZE area LE because they want to SELL news.  The Register is predictable and guaranteed to paint a negative and liberal light on ANY story involving LE.  What a SHAME the Register FAILS to cover the TRUTH about our elected politicians with the same, dedicated and honest zeal.  There are plenty of options a team can use to avoid killing anyone.  If a suspect is ARMED, the options narrow.  If the suspect has made statements to his intentions, only a few options remain.  If the scene is under control, then LE can utilize TIME.  It all comes down to a decision made by trained LE officers in a matter of SECONDS.  There is NO holding the press, editing the story or rewind in this BEHAVIOR response.  I did NOT see what those officers were faced with and what culminated their decision.  Neither was the Sandusky Register.  I can ONLY rely on an independent, non-biased investigation by another agency or the state.  If ANY investigator is familiar with the agency or knows the officers involved, then that report is VOID!  How hard is that to understand?  I am sure the Sandusky Register understands the practice of UNBIASED and RESPONSIBLE reporting to seek the TRUTH.  Ha! Ha!  Here is a question for you wizards at the Register.  YOU want to publish the autopsy photos?  For WHAT reason and to what end?  You can publish anything you want to sell papers or further your agenda.  You can make up all the EXCUSES you want to justify printing such photos because you want to keep the public "informed" about LE.  I just wonder if a video or autopsy photos involving a HOMICIDE from March 19 will be NEXT?!!  Does THAT fall under the same premise of keeping the public informed??        

Centauri

TEST         THIS IS A TEST

I am providing a link to some very graphic photos. Instead of the Sandusky Register taking the heat, you can blame me for posting the link. The gunshot wounds were caused by an M-16 type rifle similar to the one that shot Jones.

You have the choice to click on the link to see the very graphic gunshot wounds or not click on the link. The choice is yours. The gunshot victim was shot in the thigh.

WARNING!   VERY GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING GUNSHOT WOUND PHOTOS!  Do not click on the link if you feel that the photos may upset you.

http://www.timawa.net/forum/index.php?topic=17111.0