policeblotter_sfa.jpg

Wednesday, 1/20/10



1 PM:A white man stopped on the street on the 100 block of Golden Gate to take some medication, and a black man and woman reportedly wrested it from him. When the victim tried to get it back, the female suspect pulled a gun on him, then both suspects fled on foot. No one’s been arrested.

9:15 PM: Two black men reportedly robbed a restaurant on the 500 block of Cortland at gunpoint, taking money from the register and an asian male patron’s wallet. They fled on foot, and haven’t been arrested.

9:30 PM: Two black men reportedly stole a white woman’s iPhone while on Muni, getting off the bus at San Bruno and Felton. No one’s been arrested.

Thursday, 1/21/10

4:20 AM: A black woman and a white man were having a fight on the first block of 6th Street, when the woman stabbed the man. His injuries were not life-threatening, and she was arrested.

If you didn’t vote in this poll yesterday, please take the time to do it today: Some commenters have expressed concerns about our inclusion of race in our blotter items, saying that that information “reduces the average value of each piece of information in each incident,” that including information on suspects’ and victims’ race makes the Appeal “look like racists,” and that “pointing out race exacerbates profiling and racism both.”

While we’re certainly not going to manage this site via majority rule (because that plan worked out so well for California’s gay folks), we’re interested in hearing what you think — and your opinions will help us shape our policies. So please feel free to continue the discussion in our comments, but please also take a second to vote if you haven’t already. Thanks, guys.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • wordygirl

    I live in Bernal Heights, so I cut and pasted the Cortland Ave. robbery to put on our listserv to see if anyone knows what’s up. This is what I pasted:

    “From SF Appeal:

    9:15 PM: Two men reportedly robbed a restaurant on the 500 block of Cortland at gunpoint, taking money from the register and a patron’s wallet. They fled on foot, and haven’t been arrested.”

    I think that is enough information, don’t you?

    We’ve had a lot of crime in the area lately, so thanks for the info. I live about 4 blocks from there and I drive to Cortland instead of walk. Sucks to think that people are not even safe INSIDE a restaurant.

  • wordygirl

    I live in Bernal Heights, so I cut and pasted the Cortland Ave. robbery to put on our listserv to see if anyone knows what’s up. This is what I pasted:

    “From SF Appeal:

    9:15 PM: Two men reportedly robbed a restaurant on the 500 block of Cortland at gunpoint, taking money from the register and a patron’s wallet. They fled on foot, and haven’t been arrested.”

    I think that is enough information, don’t you?

    We’ve had a lot of crime in the area lately, so thanks for the info. I live about 4 blocks from there and I drive to Cortland instead of walk. Sucks to think that people are not even safe INSIDE a restaurant.

  • Brock Keeling

    But what dis the assailants look like? Seeing as how they’re on the lam, descriptive information is crucial for public safety.

  • Brock Keeling

    But what dis the assailants look like? Seeing as how they’re on the lam, descriptive information is crucial for public safety.

  • areallyniceguy

    Including the gender of the perpetrators is sexist because it may lead to perceptions that one gender is more likely to commit crime than the other. Revealing the gender of the gender of the victim violates their privacy.

  • areallyniceguy

    Including the gender of the perpetrators is sexist because it may lead to perceptions that one gender is more likely to commit crime than the other. Revealing the gender of the gender of the victim violates their privacy.

  • wordygirl

    Saying they are “black” is not enough information for anyone to catch or avoid them, so totally unnecessary. What were they wearing? How tall were they? Two “black men” took an “Asian” patron’s wallet, so be on the lookout for all the “black” men in Bernal Heights!

  • wordygirl

    Saying they are “black” is not enough information for anyone to catch or avoid them, so totally unnecessary. What were they wearing? How tall were they? Two “black men” took an “Asian” patron’s wallet, so be on the lookout for all the “black” men in Bernal Heights!

  • bloomsm

    A suspect’s physical description is only relevant if you include all the details: height, weight, appearance. “Black” is not sufficiently descriptive to aid in public safety. The race of the victim would be totally irrelevant. It tends to create a perception of race vs. race crime, without adding anything to the mix.

  • bloomsm

    A suspect’s physical description is only relevant if you include all the details: height, weight, appearance. “Black” is not sufficiently descriptive to aid in public safety. The race of the victim would be totally irrelevant. It tends to create a perception of race vs. race crime, without adding anything to the mix.

  • modelenoir

    Without a more-complete profile, including using race as a single identifying element in San Francisco helps someone to filter through the: 364,000 Non-Hispanic Whites (45% of total population), 250,000 Asian (31%), 113,000 Hispanic (14%), and 59,000 African-American (7%) members of the population. I’m not a huge fan of those odds. (Numbers from Wikipedia, and I squared them off a bit for simplicity. Total SF population ~809,000).

    If race were complemented (not supplemented) with other identifying attributes, it could definitely be a more useful data point worth including, but no more so than just listing suspect height, weight, or hair color on their own, with no complementary information.

    Links that Eve provided earlier, mention that a case-by-case basis decision to include race when it is felt to be necessary is a common practice. Exclusion, without further analysis warranting inclusion is the guideline.

    Here are two links that Eve provided:
    -AP Stylebook: http://www.justicejournalism.org/crimeguide/chapter04/chapter04_pg02.html
    -Organization of News Ombudsman: http://newsombudsmen.org/columns/race-and-the-mission-beach-assaults

  • modelenoir

    Without a more-complete profile, including using race as a single identifying element in San Francisco helps someone to filter through the: 364,000 Non-Hispanic Whites (45% of total population), 250,000 Asian (31%), 113,000 Hispanic (14%), and 59,000 African-American (7%) members of the population. I’m not a huge fan of those odds. (Numbers from Wikipedia, and I squared them off a bit for simplicity. Total SF population ~809,000).

    If race were complemented (not supplemented) with other identifying attributes, it could definitely be a more useful data point worth including, but no more so than just listing suspect height, weight, or hair color on their own, with no complementary information.

    Links that Eve provided earlier, mention that a case-by-case basis decision to include race when it is felt to be necessary is a common practice. Exclusion, without further analysis warranting inclusion is the guideline.

    Here are two links that Eve provided:
    -AP Stylebook: http://www.justicejournalism.org/crimeguide/chapter04/chapter04_pg02.html
    -Organization of News Ombudsman: http://newsombudsmen.org/columns/race-and-the-mission-beach-assaults