Earlier this week I shared some details about the alleged rape of a 19-year-old woman in the tent city at Cleveland Public Square. I didn't catch this detail until I watched the news story again yesterday. WKYC "Senior Political Correspondent" Tom Beres reported:
"[T]he group did not learn about this alleged incident until we told them early this afternoon."
This was on Wednesday. The police report was filed on Monday according to another WKYC report.
So why had the Cleveland Police Department not yet contacted the group or been on the scene investigating by Wednesday afternoon?
Erin McCardle, one of the group's most visible organizers, said;
"We're cooperating completely with the Cleveland Police Department to find out exactly what occurred."
Note that McCardle said 'we are' rather than 'we will be,' indicating that she had been in contact with police.
So either the group knew about the attack and had been previously contacted by police (and she was lying to reporters), or the group didn't know and some 48 hours after the report had been filed, the Cleveland Police Department had not yet been on the scene. Neither scenario is pretty.
Greg Gutfeld, on The Five Wednesday, pointed out something odd about the local news coverage of the alleged rape. He said they're asking the wrong questions. Instead of asking where the rapist is and warning people that there is possibly a rapist roaming the streets of Cleveland, WKYC's Beres instead engages in some naval gazing on behalf of the protesters:
"...The big question: how much damage will this do to all the work that's been done and the future of the occupation...."
"...So again, the question: What will this ugly allegation do?..."
"...So this does put a cloud over the group's activities. Its permit for Public Square runs out Friday, Romona, it's not saying what it is planning to do. The permit for the tent city runs out a week from tomorrow."
Did Beres think to ask McCardle why the police had not yet begun to investigate the alleged crime? Why witnesses weren't being rounded up and the crime scene inspected?
Nah. He's more worried about the damage control aspect of the story.
In the meantime, there is quite possibly a rapist on the loose in Cleveland. Local media reports indicate that the Cleveland Police are not exactly making this their top priority. The fact that members of the CPD have been actively involved in the protest doesn't make me feel completely confident that they're bringing their A Game to this investigation.
Cross-posted at What to Read Today