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Tuesday, 1/19/10



3:50 PM: A suspect reportedly “jumped” a victim (the SFPD didn’t offer identifying characteristics for either) outside a bar at 7th and Brannan(what do you think, Mars Bar?), the two got into a physical fight, and the alleged jumper demanded the jumpee’s wallet. The jumpee refused, and the jumper fled when other bar patrons entered the area. No one was arrested.

5 PM:Two already-acquainted white men reportedly got into a physical fightat (spoiler alert) the suspect’s residence on the 200 block of 8th Street. The aforementioned suspect allegedly took money from the victim, then fled his own home. The victim’s post-fight injuries weren’t life threatening, and, oddly (given that we know where the suspect lives), no one’s been arrested.

6:52 PM: Multiple black men reportedly lay in wait for an otherwise undescribed male victim to approach his car parked at Revere and Hawes, then allegedly stole his car at gunpoint. The car has been recovered, and one arrest has been made.

8:56 PM: An otherwise undescribed man was walking on the 1500 block of McAllister, when three black men reportedly rushed him from behind, knocking him to the ground and stealing items from his backpack before fleeing on foot. The victim’s injuries weren’t life threatening, and no one’s been arrested.

9 PM:Two black men reportedly robbed an otherwise undescribed man at gunpoint in front of his residence on the 700 block of Treat. No one was injured, no one was arrested.

9:53 PM: Two black men reportedly confronted an undescribed victim at as the victim was getting out of a car on the 500 block of Shotwell. According to the SFPD, “while one suspect pointed a gun at the victim, the other suspect went through victim’s pockets and took property.” They then fled on foot, and have not been arrested.
Wednesday, 1/20/10

12:01 AM: Two black men reportedly broke into a residence on the 300 block of Ellis, and threatened the undescribed inhabitant with a gun. The suspects, who were reportedly known by the victim, stole property from the residence, struck the victim with the gun, then escaped via fire escape. The victim’s injuries weren’t life-threatening, and no one’s been arrested.

2:05 AM: Two hispanic men reportedly confronted a white man as he was walking at 23rd and Treat. One suspect allegedly threatened him with a knife or some other “sharp object” while the other man searched the victim’s pockets. After allegedly stealing some items, they fled in a nearby vehicle. No one’s been arrested.

2:30 AM: Two hispanic men reportedly confronted an undescribed victim at Persia and Paris(which sounds like such a glamorous intersection!). One allegedly threatened the victim with a knife as he went through the victim’s pockets, removing property, before a witness noticed the incident and started yelling. The suspects fled on foot, and have not been arrested.

3 AM: An unknown number of black men demanded a white woman’s purse at Larkin and Golden Gate. She refused, so they took it from her by force, knocking her to the ground. No one’s been arrested.

In the comments on yesterday’s blotter, it was suggested that the race of the suspects and victims should, perhaps, not be included in our reports. What do you think?

Please feel free to engage in a discussion on this in our comments, but if you can vote one way or the other in the below poll (sorry RSS people, you’ll have to click through to vote), we’d be most obliged. Thanks.

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.

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  • modelenoir

    Wow. From the looks of the poll, the public has spoken.

  • modelenoir

    Wow. From the looks of the poll, the public has spoken.

  • modelenoir

    For those interested in the conversation from yesterday, here it is: http://sfappeal.com/news/2010/01/crime-blotter-monday-jan-19-muni-fight-leads-to-arrest-comments.php

    Please assume that I’m only referring to the SF Appeal Blotter, not any other discussion of crime, where race may be a more relevant thing to include.

    I had brought it up thinking that it doesn’t really add anything to the discussion in the context of a simple list of crime. Race seems significantly less important that where/when and type of incident, though may be relevant if being used to tell a story with the data, or if included in a more in-depth article on an incident.

    The fact that we’re talking race makes it a bit more touchy than, say, ice-cream preference, but may be just as relevant and/or actionable in this case.

    This isn’t a huge deal for me one way or the other, but as the conversation yesterday went on, I am just becoming more interested in why someone would feel this is such an important piece of information to add to an incident report (here on SF Appeal). I feel it reduces the average value of each piece of information in each incident.

    For those voting ‘Yes, we want it’, what do you think it provides here, specifically in the SF Appeal Crime Blotter? What would be significantly different about a post without it?

    Thanks

  • modelenoir

    For those interested in the conversation from yesterday, here it is: http://sfappeal.com/news/2010/01/crime-blotter-monday-jan-19-muni-fight-leads-to-arrest-comments.php

    Please assume that I’m only referring to the SF Appeal Blotter, not any other discussion of crime, where race may be a more relevant thing to include.

    I had brought it up thinking that it doesn’t really add anything to the discussion in the context of a simple list of crime. Race seems significantly less important that where/when and type of incident, though may be relevant if being used to tell a story with the data, or if included in a more in-depth article on an incident.

    The fact that we’re talking race makes it a bit more touchy than, say, ice-cream preference, but may be just as relevant and/or actionable in this case.

    This isn’t a huge deal for me one way or the other, but as the conversation yesterday went on, I am just becoming more interested in why someone would feel this is such an important piece of information to add to an incident report (here on SF Appeal). I feel it reduces the average value of each piece of information in each incident.

    For those voting ‘Yes, we want it’, what do you think it provides here, specifically in the SF Appeal Crime Blotter? What would be significantly different about a post without it?

    Thanks

  • wordygirl

    I voted no. I was going to comment on this WEEKS ago. I still don’t see what the relevance is of stating race. Oh no! A black man robbed a white woman! A. This is not news. B. As a white woman, should I then be suspicious of all black men? Pointing out race exacerbates profiling and racism both, and is not necessary in this forum. I am much more interested in where these crimes take place (on the corner where I just was, for example) then if the perps were black or hispanic or white or even men or women.

    I have taken to just scanning the links for the locales and disregarding the race information anyway. And who cares how the Gate or AP style or anyone else treats this – I think the Appeal can do their thang without looking like racists.

    Just sayin’.

  • wordygirl

    I voted no. I was going to comment on this WEEKS ago. I still don’t see what the relevance is of stating race. Oh no! A black man robbed a white woman! A. This is not news. B. As a white woman, should I then be suspicious of all black men? Pointing out race exacerbates profiling and racism both, and is not necessary in this forum. I am much more interested in where these crimes take place (on the corner where I just was, for example) then if the perps were black or hispanic or white or even men or women.

    I have taken to just scanning the links for the locales and disregarding the race information anyway. And who cares how the Gate or AP style or anyone else treats this – I think the Appeal can do their thang without looking like racists.

    Just sayin’.

  • modelenoir

    word, wordygirl.

  • modelenoir

    word, wordygirl.

  • raqcoon

    SF Appeal paints a demographic picture: race, place, time, target, reason, etc. We can learn from all this intel.

  • raqcoon

    SF Appeal paints a demographic picture: race, place, time, target, reason, etc. We can learn from all this intel.

  • Linesides

    “For those voting ‘Yes, we want it’, what do you think it provides here, specifically in the SF Appeal Crime Blotter?”

    It’s potentially useful information.

    Would knowing that three rough-looking black guys robbed someone at an intersection make me cross that intersection a little faster if I saw three rough-looking black guys hanging around? Yes, it would. Is that profiling? Yes, it is. Do I consider it wrong? No. And before you tell me how horrible that is, consider that, thanks to profiling gone wrong, my family spent 4 years sitting in the desert on their ass during World War II.

    If someone doesn’t walk a little faster around three rough-looking black guys at a specific street corner where the Crime Blotter says three rough-looking black guys robbed someone at gunpoint, they’re incredibly naive. Same if it was three white guys, three asian guys (like me), or three lesbian grandmothers. Where the idea of profiling comes off the rails is if you were then to assume that all lesbian grandmothers, everywhere, are potential violent felons, and treat them accordingly. That is racist/sexist/whatever.

    By the way, I don’t think we would even be having this discussion if 80% of the crimes in the blog were described as having been committed by white people.

    “What would be significantly different about a post without it?”
    At a street corner where three people robbed someone else, I would have to assume that anyone — three schoolchildren, three rough looking black guys, three rough looking asian guys, three nuns, or three San Francisco Supervisors — are equally likely to have been the people responsible. This makes me less safe and more paranoid society. If I can screen out the rough looking black guys and concentrate on the Supervisors, that is useful information.

  • Linesides

    “For those voting ‘Yes, we want it’, what do you think it provides here, specifically in the SF Appeal Crime Blotter?”

    It’s potentially useful information.

    Would knowing that three rough-looking black guys robbed someone at an intersection make me cross that intersection a little faster if I saw three rough-looking black guys hanging around? Yes, it would. Is that profiling? Yes, it is. Do I consider it wrong? No. And before you tell me how horrible that is, consider that, thanks to profiling gone wrong, my family spent 4 years sitting in the desert on their ass during World War II.

    If someone doesn’t walk a little faster around three rough-looking black guys at a specific street corner where the Crime Blotter says three rough-looking black guys robbed someone at gunpoint, they’re incredibly naive. Same if it was three white guys, three asian guys (like me), or three lesbian grandmothers. Where the idea of profiling comes off the rails is if you were then to assume that all lesbian grandmothers, everywhere, are potential violent felons, and treat them accordingly. That is racist/sexist/whatever.

    By the way, I don’t think we would even be having this discussion if 80% of the crimes in the blog were described as having been committed by white people.

    “What would be significantly different about a post without it?”
    At a street corner where three people robbed someone else, I would have to assume that anyone — three schoolchildren, three rough looking black guys, three rough looking asian guys, three nuns, or three San Francisco Supervisors — are equally likely to have been the people responsible. This makes me less safe and more paranoid society. If I can screen out the rough looking black guys and concentrate on the Supervisors, that is useful information.

  • cedichou

    I say include race only if it is required for identification. Say: the suspect is of race XXX, 5’11” tall, with YYY-colored hair and wore a blue hoodie. Otherwise, it’s not necessary. Unless you want people to freak out because they want to use their iPhone on MUNI, but they’re sitting next to someone of race XXX.

  • cedichou

    I say include race only if it is required for identification. Say: the suspect is of race XXX, 5’11” tall, with YYY-colored hair and wore a blue hoodie. Otherwise, it’s not necessary. Unless you want people to freak out because they want to use their iPhone on MUNI, but they’re sitting next to someone of race XXX.

  • modelenoir

    linesides: Where did this “rough-looking” come from? You’re already painting a possibly incorrect picture of the people involved. Your assuming they’re all rough-looking is in the same direction (though admittedly less-malicious) than assuming all Asian guys you see everywhere are criminals because you read that Asians were suspected in criminal incidents on this blotter. You are unconsciously filling in missing details, possibly misleading yourself because of the preconceived notion that everyone mentioned on this blotter are “rough-looking”.

    Take that a step further and assume that people could be using these incidents as data points to fill in their ideas of what race means to them. The posts include location, but the mind doesn’t have these delineated street boundaries. Using the example of you assuming now that all rough-looking people should be feared, each incident provides one more opportunity for someone’s unconscious racial biases to be affected… not limited to street corners or neighborhoods. Global biases about race on the whole.

    As far as this being a moot point if the suspects were white? I disagree. By mentioning this, you expose another bias. I’m not sure exactly what that bias is, but you have projected a bias nonetheless (maybe that you assume that white people are above profiling? That whites are underrepresented and nobody will speak up for them? That when race is mentioned, it can only be about non-whites?) This is why race being included can not only be superfluous, but actually detrimental to the discussion, as mentioning race carries with it a lot more baggage than just a simple data point such as ‘height’ or ‘weight’.

    This is the first mention I have made of the more societal issue that race can be. You’ve illustrated examples of how unconsciously biased people can be. I still argue that including race does nothing other than add irrelevant information to each incident. Thanks for bringing this up.

    Eternal Love and Respect.

  • modelenoir

    linesides: Where did this “rough-looking” come from? You’re already painting a possibly incorrect picture of the people involved. Your assuming they’re all rough-looking is in the same direction (though admittedly less-malicious) than assuming all Asian guys you see everywhere are criminals because you read that Asians were suspected in criminal incidents on this blotter. You are unconsciously filling in missing details, possibly misleading yourself because of the preconceived notion that everyone mentioned on this blotter are “rough-looking”.

    Take that a step further and assume that people could be using these incidents as data points to fill in their ideas of what race means to them. The posts include location, but the mind doesn’t have these delineated street boundaries. Using the example of you assuming now that all rough-looking people should be feared, each incident provides one more opportunity for someone’s unconscious racial biases to be affected… not limited to street corners or neighborhoods. Global biases about race on the whole.

    As far as this being a moot point if the suspects were white? I disagree. By mentioning this, you expose another bias. I’m not sure exactly what that bias is, but you have projected a bias nonetheless (maybe that you assume that white people are above profiling? That whites are underrepresented and nobody will speak up for them? That when race is mentioned, it can only be about non-whites?) This is why race being included can not only be superfluous, but actually detrimental to the discussion, as mentioning race carries with it a lot more baggage than just a simple data point such as ‘height’ or ‘weight’.

    This is the first mention I have made of the more societal issue that race can be. You’ve illustrated examples of how unconsciously biased people can be. I still argue that including race does nothing other than add irrelevant information to each incident. Thanks for bringing this up.

    Eternal Love and Respect.

  • modelenoir

    cedichou: I think that’s a perfect summary of the issue.

    Eve provided a link a couple days ago that discusses accepted practices for using race, very similar: “The usual answer is only when it is part of a more detailed description.
    It may be useful for the public to know the robber was a short, thin blond-haired white man wearing a denim shirt and gray pants and driving a blue Toyota Tercel. Merely a white man in a blue car is less helpful.” (http://www.justicejournalism.org/crimeguide/chapter04/chapter04_pg02.html, Covering Crime and Justice)

    Another article suggested that it be looked at on a case-by-case basis, and if the occasion calls for breach of this guideline, no problem. Seems pretty practical and allows for some cases where race could be a more relevant piece of data (hate crimes, targeting, etc.).

    Eternal Love and Respect.

  • modelenoir

    cedichou: I think that’s a perfect summary of the issue.

    Eve provided a link a couple days ago that discusses accepted practices for using race, very similar: “The usual answer is only when it is part of a more detailed description.
    It may be useful for the public to know the robber was a short, thin blond-haired white man wearing a denim shirt and gray pants and driving a blue Toyota Tercel. Merely a white man in a blue car is less helpful.” (http://www.justicejournalism.org/crimeguide/chapter04/chapter04_pg02.html, Covering Crime and Justice)

    Another article suggested that it be looked at on a case-by-case basis, and if the occasion calls for breach of this guideline, no problem. Seems pretty practical and allows for some cases where race could be a more relevant piece of data (hate crimes, targeting, etc.).

    Eternal Love and Respect.

  • dw.bg

    Assuming that the race of the attacker / victim is coming directly from the police reports I don’t see any reason not to report it. This is NOT racism or racial insensitivity. Just facts. White, Black, Hispanic or Asian, there are clearly criminals of all sorts running around our city.

  • dw.bg

    Assuming that the race of the attacker / victim is coming directly from the police reports I don’t see any reason not to report it. This is NOT racism or racial insensitivity. Just facts. White, Black, Hispanic or Asian, there are clearly criminals of all sorts running around our city.

  • Linesides

    “By mentioning this, you expose another bias. I’m not sure exactly what that bias is, but you have projected a bias nonetheless”
    I’m sure you meant..something productive by this, but I just found this laughable. If you can’t identify the bias, you should probably just ask for clarification and not spend entire paragraphs speculating and spinning in your own logic.

    Speculating about what I’m thinking, making assumptions about my assumed assumptions, telling me I’m subconsciously filling in detailsthat doesn’t really fit into the Eternal Respect thing. No, it’s just one step short of putting words in my mouth, and it it really is, um, really disRespectful.

    With all due respect, I think you need to start living in the real world. Look, as much as you and I might not want it to, race matters in this world. But your world view is rather unrealistic, and it really isn’t helping anyone. I’m going to go ahead and speculate, much like you, that you grew up in a place very much unlike San Francisco, with a life experience much different than me or any other minority citizen, with a wholly academic and speculative approach to race in this country. Please, discuss this with whoever you like to your heart’s content, but I’m afraid you’re not going to get much traction with the rest of the 84% of us who are dealing with the world the way it is, not the way we want it to be. Are we wrong? I’ll tell you one thing: I’ve seen real progress in race in this country in just the last twenty years, and I’m sorry to say that I don’t see any role the 16% played in any of it, at all.

    Of course, the above is an absolute cavalcade of biases. But you know what? Life is one bias after the other, and that part will never end.

    Will someone please change the medium gray color of the font on this site? It’s killing my eyes.

  • Linesides

    “By mentioning this, you expose another bias. I’m not sure exactly what that bias is, but you have projected a bias nonetheless”
    I’m sure you meant..something productive by this, but I just found this laughable. If you can’t identify the bias, you should probably just ask for clarification and not spend entire paragraphs speculating and spinning in your own logic.

    Speculating about what I’m thinking, making assumptions about my assumed assumptions, telling me I’m subconsciously filling in detailsthat doesn’t really fit into the Eternal Respect thing. No, it’s just one step short of putting words in my mouth, and it it really is, um, really disRespectful.

    With all due respect, I think you need to start living in the real world. Look, as much as you and I might not want it to, race matters in this world. But your world view is rather unrealistic, and it really isn’t helping anyone. I’m going to go ahead and speculate, much like you, that you grew up in a place very much unlike San Francisco, with a life experience much different than me or any other minority citizen, with a wholly academic and speculative approach to race in this country. Please, discuss this with whoever you like to your heart’s content, but I’m afraid you’re not going to get much traction with the rest of the 84% of us who are dealing with the world the way it is, not the way we want it to be. Are we wrong? I’ll tell you one thing: I’ve seen real progress in race in this country in just the last twenty years, and I’m sorry to say that I don’t see any role the 16% played in any of it, at all.

    Of course, the above is an absolute cavalcade of biases. But you know what? Life is one bias after the other, and that part will never end.

    Will someone please change the medium gray color of the font on this site? It’s killing my eyes.

  • modelenoir

    If you want to believe we live in two different worlds, go ahead, but you’ll have a hard time proving it. It seems as though we have two different perspectives on the same world.

    As far as not identifying your bias… my intention was not to assert anything other than that there was a bias there. The existence of that bias is what is the issue, not the direction or sentiment of that bias. Including race in these posts opens the door for these unintentional biases, and in that, I feel that including race hurts more than it helps.

    I grew up in Seattle, a city very similar to San Francisco. I am white. I do not think that excuses me from the debate. I also have exactly no idea if I’m in the 84% or the 16%.

    At any rate, we can agree to disagree. Different perspectives, same world. Ain’t life wacky?

    Have a good one.

  • modelenoir

    If you want to believe we live in two different worlds, go ahead, but you’ll have a hard time proving it. It seems as though we have two different perspectives on the same world.

    As far as not identifying your bias… my intention was not to assert anything other than that there was a bias there. The existence of that bias is what is the issue, not the direction or sentiment of that bias. Including race in these posts opens the door for these unintentional biases, and in that, I feel that including race hurts more than it helps.

    I grew up in Seattle, a city very similar to San Francisco. I am white. I do not think that excuses me from the debate. I also have exactly no idea if I’m in the 84% or the 16%.

    At any rate, we can agree to disagree. Different perspectives, same world. Ain’t life wacky?

    Have a good one.

  • modelenoir

    I don’t mean to say that this piece of information is totally irrelevant. I do think that it is not relevant enough to be included in this context. If there were an aim to highlight the disparities in crime committed by different races in different parts of the city, a very interesting topic on it’s own, great, but I don’t see that being the goal of this blotter.

    Imagine the blotter reading like this:
    3:50 PM: A suspect reportedly “jumped” a victim (the SFPD didn’t offer identifying characteristics for either) outside a bar at 7th and Brannan (what do you think, Mars Bar?), the two got into a physical fight, and the alleged jumper demanded the jumpee’s wallet. The jumpee refused, and the jumper fled when other bar patrons entered the area. No one was arrested.

    5 PM: Two already-acquainted 6’2″ men reportedly got into a physical fight at (spoiler alert) the suspect’s residence on the 200 block of 8th Street. The aforementioned suspect allegedly took money from the victim, then fled his own home. The victim’s post-fight injuries weren’t life threatening, and, oddly (given that we know where the suspect lives), no one’s been arrested.

    6:52 PM: Multiple 5’9″ men reportedly lay in wait for an otherwise undescribed male victim to approach his car parked at Revere and Hawes, then allegedly stole his car at gunpoint. The car has been recovered, and one arrest has been made.

    3:50 PM: A suspect reportedly “jumped” a victim (the SFPD didn’t offer identifying characteristics for either) outside a bar at 7th and Brannan (what do you think, Mars Bar?), the two got into a physical fight, and the alleged jumper demanded the jumpee’s wallet. The jumpee refused, and the jumper fled when other bar patrons entered the area. No one was arrested.

    5 PM: Two already-acquainted white men reportedly got into a physical fight at (spoiler alert) the suspect’s residence on the 200 block of 8th Street. The aforementioned suspect allegedly took money from the victim, then fled his own home. The victim’s post-fight injuries weren’t life threatening, and, oddly (given that we know where the suspect lives), no one’s been arrested.

    6:52 PM: Multiple black men reportedly lay in wait for an otherwise undescribed male victim to approach his car parked at Revere and Hawes, then allegedly stole his car at gunpoint. The car has been recovered, and one arrest has been made.

    8:56 PM: An otherwise undescribed man was walking on the 1500 block of McAllister, when three black men reportedly rushed him from behind, knocking him to the ground and stealing items from his backpack before fleeing on foot. The victim’s injuries weren’t life threatening, and no one’s been arrested.

    9 PM: Two blue-eyed men reportedly robbed an otherwise undescribed man at gunpoint in front of his residence on the 700 block of Treat. No one was injured, no one was arrested.

    9 PM: Two men in ski masks reportedly robbed an otherwise undescribed man at gunpoint in front of his residence on the 700 block of Treat. No one was injured, no one was arrested.

    I left the two (3:50 and 8:56) that didn’t include descriptions of the subject for a reason. What more does a reader get from the one/two attributes that are included? Should we now be scared of 6’2″ men down on 8th street? Ski-mask-wearing guys on Treat? The ski-mask attribute in the second 9pm incident would be significantly more actionable as it is an exception.

    “What’s up with the ski-mask on your picture man? Where were you at 9PM on the 20th?” Kidding, but I think that makes the point. I’m 6’2″, though I don’t remember fighting one of my friends on Wednesday afternoon. Should seeing me at Mars Bar put someone on edge (in this case people I’m already acquainted with)? My acquaintances would become wary of me personally, but I don’t think the incident should alert them to the fact that the should watch out for their other acquaintances that are 6’2″.

    All in all, I think your point is valid and an objective approach to the situation. Really, my argument is that including race, without it being a part of a more actionable picture, does not add anything to the post. It is stub data point in the story that, at best, does nothing but add words to the post, lowering the per-data-point value average, and at the worst, support existing personal biases of readers or even worse create new biases.

    Peace.

  • modelenoir

    I don’t mean to say that this piece of information is totally irrelevant. I do think that it is not relevant enough to be included in this context. If there were an aim to highlight the disparities in crime committed by different races in different parts of the city, a very interesting topic on it’s own, great, but I don’t see that being the goal of this blotter.

    Imagine the blotter reading like this:
    3:50 PM: A suspect reportedly “jumped” a victim (the SFPD didn’t offer identifying characteristics for either) outside a bar at 7th and Brannan (what do you think, Mars Bar?), the two got into a physical fight, and the alleged jumper demanded the jumpee’s wallet. The jumpee refused, and the jumper fled when other bar patrons entered the area. No one was arrested.

    5 PM: Two already-acquainted 6’2″ men reportedly got into a physical fight at (spoiler alert) the suspect’s residence on the 200 block of 8th Street. The aforementioned suspect allegedly took money from the victim, then fled his own home. The victim’s post-fight injuries weren’t life threatening, and, oddly (given that we know where the suspect lives), no one’s been arrested.

    6:52 PM: Multiple 5’9″ men reportedly lay in wait for an otherwise undescribed male victim to approach his car parked at Revere and Hawes, then allegedly stole his car at gunpoint. The car has been recovered, and one arrest has been made.

    3:50 PM: A suspect reportedly “jumped” a victim (the SFPD didn’t offer identifying characteristics for either) outside a bar at 7th and Brannan (what do you think, Mars Bar?), the two got into a physical fight, and the alleged jumper demanded the jumpee’s wallet. The jumpee refused, and the jumper fled when other bar patrons entered the area. No one was arrested.

    5 PM: Two already-acquainted white men reportedly got into a physical fight at (spoiler alert) the suspect’s residence on the 200 block of 8th Street. The aforementioned suspect allegedly took money from the victim, then fled his own home. The victim’s post-fight injuries weren’t life threatening, and, oddly (given that we know where the suspect lives), no one’s been arrested.

    6:52 PM: Multiple black men reportedly lay in wait for an otherwise undescribed male victim to approach his car parked at Revere and Hawes, then allegedly stole his car at gunpoint. The car has been recovered, and one arrest has been made.

    8:56 PM: An otherwise undescribed man was walking on the 1500 block of McAllister, when three black men reportedly rushed him from behind, knocking him to the ground and stealing items from his backpack before fleeing on foot. The victim’s injuries weren’t life threatening, and no one’s been arrested.

    9 PM: Two blue-eyed men reportedly robbed an otherwise undescribed man at gunpoint in front of his residence on the 700 block of Treat. No one was injured, no one was arrested.

    9 PM: Two men in ski masks reportedly robbed an otherwise undescribed man at gunpoint in front of his residence on the 700 block of Treat. No one was injured, no one was arrested.

    I left the two (3:50 and 8:56) that didn’t include descriptions of the subject for a reason. What more does a reader get from the one/two attributes that are included? Should we now be scared of 6’2″ men down on 8th street? Ski-mask-wearing guys on Treat? The ski-mask attribute in the second 9pm incident would be significantly more actionable as it is an exception.

    “What’s up with the ski-mask on your picture man? Where were you at 9PM on the 20th?” Kidding, but I think that makes the point. I’m 6’2″, though I don’t remember fighting one of my friends on Wednesday afternoon. Should seeing me at Mars Bar put someone on edge (in this case people I’m already acquainted with)? My acquaintances would become wary of me personally, but I don’t think the incident should alert them to the fact that the should watch out for their other acquaintances that are 6’2″.

    All in all, I think your point is valid and an objective approach to the situation. Really, my argument is that including race, without it being a part of a more actionable picture, does not add anything to the post. It is stub data point in the story that, at best, does nothing but add words to the post, lowering the per-data-point value average, and at the worst, support existing personal biases of readers or even worse create new biases.

    Peace.

  • Linesides

    “I grew up in Seattle, a city very similar to San Francisco. I am white. I do not think that excuses me from the debate. I also have exactly no idea if I’m in the 84% or the 16%.”

    Whoa, now. Again, let’s stop with putting words in my mouth. I never said that your ethnicity–specifically, being white–excuses you from the debate. I simply think you’re wrong.

    In my opinion, limiting public information to everyone because you worry about others using it to feed or create biases is wrong. It is a slippery slope, and ultimately, waiting for you at the bottom of the hill is totalitarianism. Sometimes, you really just have to let go of the reigns and let people do their own thing.

  • Linesides

    “I grew up in Seattle, a city very similar to San Francisco. I am white. I do not think that excuses me from the debate. I also have exactly no idea if I’m in the 84% or the 16%.”

    Whoa, now. Again, let’s stop with putting words in my mouth. I never said that your ethnicity–specifically, being white–excuses you from the debate. I simply think you’re wrong.

    In my opinion, limiting public information to everyone because you worry about others using it to feed or create biases is wrong. It is a slippery slope, and ultimately, waiting for you at the bottom of the hill is totalitarianism. Sometimes, you really just have to let go of the reigns and let people do their own thing.