What was purpose of ‘pig’ headline regarding slain officer?

The killing of a police officer in Bothell was a tragic senseless event. I believe that The Herald generally takes responsible positions on the news, however, what purpose does it serve to headline for the article with reference to language by the alleged perpetrator? (“Charge: Man said, ‘Come on, pig,’ before killing Bothell cop,” The Herald July 15.)

Was the charge that he called Officer Jonathan Shoop a pig, or that he shot at both officers in the context of a traffic stop? This seems like a coded way to say that this was a African American man out to kill cops. I see a trend in the media to report violence in the area of the ‘CHOP’ or against police, such as the recent incident in Bothell, as a way to make a case that we need more police and to allocate police departments an even larger portion of public funds.

Although this was a unique event for Bothell, shootings are likely quite common in this country and our over-reliance on police has not prevented them. In fact the U.S. is experiencing an epidemic of mass shootings which our political representatives have not found the will to address. The more people have guns and the more that guns are seen as the solution to problems of social order, the more likely that they will be used and escalate situations that might have been handled by other means. I would hope that The Herald would not characterize such a tragic event in a manner that is likely to encourage a simplistic and divisive interpretation before the facts are known.

Christine Lavra


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