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EDITOR'S DESK: How we'll cover the shooting

       By Kenyon Jordan

       The five-hour shooting incident Nov. 27 that left 3 dead and 12 injured at the Planned Parenthood was so bad that words to describe it are hard to find.
       At a news conference that evening, after Robert Lewis Dear had finally been taken into custody, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers called it a “terrible, terrible tragedy.”
       So let's go with that.
       My family and I have lived on the Westside for 30 years and

have always felt that it was a place where this kind of thing wouldn't happen.
       Yet here it is.
       The purpose of this column is not to seek soaring heights of philosophy or to speculate on motives or to wallow in grief or to resort to platitudes about a “community gripped in fear,” as a certain daily newspaper reporter emoted in his story the next day.
       You can, if you like, get all of that and more in numerous other publications or even social media. Already, as I write this, various media are researching, interviewing, developing theories and essentially seeking to “try the case” before the joint investigation by six law enforcement agencies is complete. For example, our nation's president, always quick to jump on causes he personally likes, used the incident for his gun-control agenda the very night it happened.
       A similar scenario unfolded in Ferguson, Missouri, last year, when loud untruths about that shooting gained notoriety long before the investigation could be completed. We still feel the ripple effects of that. And, unfortunately such has become the rule rather than the exception.
       So, as readers, if you feel you want to get out “ahead of the curve” on what happened, hunting conspiracies, looking for political narratives and second-guessing prosecutorial efforts, this is not the publication for you.
       Not that we won't cover the investigation and eventual trial. But we will attempt to do so with restraint. We will wait for the results of the investigation and report on what he's being charged with. And then we'll wait for the trial to report on what testimony emerges under oath. We have an admirable system of law in the United States, and that is one way that we as a publication can honor that.
       Also, in case you are wondering, we will not run any photos of Robert Lewis Dear. (Not that it matters, since his mug shot has probably appeared by now in every other paper in America.) Here's our point of view: Ever since we started this newspaper in 2004, photos for us have been a way of providing a positive message about the Westside - about people working, learning, volunteering, performing, celebrating, even inspiring.
       People who commit crimes like this do not deserve to have their faces in the Westside Pioneer, plain and simple. Unless, of course, he gets exonerated. But we'll wait and see about that.
       So there you have it. I feel pain as I write this. I wish to God it had never happened. But we have a newspaper for the Westside, it happened here, so we will report on it. And that's it.

(Posted 11/29/15; Opinion: Editor's Desk)

       Kenyon Jordan is the editor of the Westside Pioneer.


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