An alleged rape victim claims police verbally abused her after she was attacked, but a top Alton police official said officers acted appropriately.
|Scooped by Dawn Embry|
“An alleged rape victim claims police verbally abused her after she was attacked, but a top Alton police official said officers acted appropriately.” This has been all over local TV, newspapers and on social media sights. There is even a petition on change.org requesting for people to sign in order to get the Alton Police Department to change their act.
A rape victim was found beaten and wandering the streets of Alton. The police are accused of handcuffing her, taking her to jail, and telling her that she deserved what she got. They are also accused of not getting her medical attention. This was not a story until it caught fire online. Facts were falsified, facts were omitted, and the family started the bashing campaign against the Alton Police Department. It is biased and revenge fueled. The police issued a statement saying that they took her to the emergency room where she refused treatment, they did not ticket her for indecent exposure, and she was restrained for her own safety while the police department went to get her mother. See two different stories, yet it has made television.
Chapter 14 on cyber-relations hits the nail on the head. On page 323 it states, “ The Internet has become an arena for the struggle between activists seeking to correct perceived wrongs and corporations feeling unfairly targeted.” The chapter deals with the idea that the internet has given powerless groups the power to have their voices heard, the power to demand attention, and they will get it. “…the power dynamic shifts making the activists and their concerns more salient to an organization.”
This woman’s family is participating in what is known as cybersmearing. This is where a the Internet is used to unfairly attack the integrity of an organization and/or its products and services. The family used a tactic known as a gripe site, or in this case change.org. This website is used frequently as a gripe site. A gripe site is a web site that focuses on grievances-real or imagined-against an organization.
Please do not get me wrong. I feel for this woman and her family. What happened to her was horrible, and if after an investigation, any of their claims are proven, then they should be compensated and apologized to. I just have a hard time believing something without proof. So far, neither the police department or the family have provided any amount of proof to their claims. I honestly feel like the attack the family is taking on the police department is deterring from the biggest problem—that this woman’s rapists are still out there. The news if filled with the fighting between the police department and the family while this woman is fighting to survive. She has bleeding on her brain for crying out loud. In everything I have seen, including this article, the fact that those responsible for the attack and rape are still at large and an investigation is ongoing.
This is a very sensitive situation and it’s going to take a lot of skill to navigate all the stones that must the maneuvered. This must be approached carefully, and respectfully from all sides. Something like this can blow up in an instant and then it’s going to take forever to recover. This has reached a crisis communication level on both sides. The family needs a representative that is removed from the family, one that can bring in an unbiased voice, to help reign in emotions and actions.
The police department needs to become active and transparent. They need to begin releasing information as soon as possible. With an ongoing investigation that is not going to be much, but being up front and honest about the investigation and the reasons as to why they can’t disclose anything would be extremely helpful. The Alton Police Department will recover from this if they implement a crisis communication plan, address the online campaign against them, and remain transparent.
I wish the woman and her family the best of luck. My prayers are with you all. Stay strong.