There is an interesting and curious dynamic at work in regard to the public response to crime.
Most of you will remember several months ago when three dogs were bound and thrown into the International Paper canal to drown and one survived. When our local paper, the Georgetown Times, posted news of this on their Facebook page, the comments quickly rose to many dozens, most participants calling for the perpetrator’s head on a stake. As the case progressed, and the alleged perpetrator arrested, the comments following the updated posts increased in their number and fury.
On Saturday, two posts, following arrests about sexual activity with minor children appeared on the Georgetown Times Facebook page. Today, two days later, there are six comments about the sexual molestation arrest and two about the solicitation arrest.
My curiosity here is not about guilt or innocence, nor is it a concern for “trying a case in the media.”
What is striking is the level of vehemence for one compared to the other, particularly when you consider that people will often ignore the neglect or abuse of an animal by a neighbor for fear of “rocking the boat” but would instantly report the abuse, or neglect, of a child.