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February 26, 2006

Octavia Butler: June 22, 1947-February 25, 2006

The announcement was made at the banquet today in at Potlatch 15 in Seattle: Octavia Butler, author of (among other things) The Parable of the Sower, the Xenogenesis trilogy, Blood Child, and Fledgling died yesterday. The news turned up on Steve Barnes' blog and has been confirmed by the King County, Washington, coroner.

I did not know her at all well, so the news doesn't directly affect me, but Butler is dear to many people who are dear to me, and their grief is palpable.

Posted by abostick at 01:08 PM | Comments (1)

February 07, 2006

Mistaken Identity

Police Chief Calls Newspaper Series 'Irresponsible'

Philadelphia Police Chief Frank Rizzo held a press conference Monday to denounce The Inquirer's ongoing series about the Police Department's use of force as "irresponsible'' and a "disservice'' to the city.

As evidence, Rizzo held up The Inquirer's Sunday edition, which featured a large photograph of a man the paper mistakenly identified as Sgt. John Haggett, an officer whose use-of-force history was profiled in an accompanying story. The man in the photo is not Haggett, has never been a police officer and has nothing to do with the series, the paper acknowledged Monday.

"This is not Sgt. John Haggett,'' Rizzo said. "If this photo is inaccurate, I have serious concerns about the analysis of all of the other data that they have obtained.''

The chief, flanked by command staff members, said he had talked with the city attorney about possible legal action stemming from the series but would not be more specific.

Inquirer editors said they stood by the accuracy of the articles in "The Use of Force" and the series' analysis.

"The photo error, while serious, does not change the basic issues raised by the series about the department's lack of a reliable system for tracking use of force and its failure to hold accountable officers who repeatedly resort to use of force," Inquirer Editor Phil Bronstein said.

Oops. It wasn't Frank Rizzo at all, nor is the paper running the series on police violence the Philadelphia Inquirer. It's the San Francisco Chronicle that is running a series on the San Francisco Police Department's use of force, and the angry response was from SFPD Chief Heather Fong.

The editors at As I Please apologize for the confusion. It was a natural mistake to make. She sure is acting like Frank Rizzo, the poster boy for institutionalized police brutality.

Posted by abostick at 08:41 AM | Comments (1)
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