A thing I have been working on in my head, that’s been bothering me, is the use of media by the police, that attempts to justify the illegal and unethical tactics of law enforcement in ICAC and MECTF police proactive stings.
I managed to make a point of it in my FAC video, made earlier this month, but it has still been on my mind. The line I say in my video is “Can’t we save children without incarcerating innocent men?”
But I think it’s really more than that.
Law enforcement couldn’t very well tell the truth to the public. They require the public, and through them legislators, backing of these stings to keep the money rolling. So the stings are shared with us all in an apprehensible light.
Instead of saying “men who answered ads of fake adults on adult dating sites, who later claimed to be a minor” they are quoted saying “men whose sole purpose was to find a child”. And instead of men who, at some point were lured into meeting someone they thought may be a minor we see “individuals clearly stating their interest in having sex with a child.”
Police want the public to think that they ONLY catch child predators. But we know that’s not the case. And I think the very purpose of using such sensationalism and hyperbole it to keep us from questioning it at all.
We know that law enforcement have a backlog of cases to investigate, but that those investigations take a lot of time and manpower to run. As WSP put it – low return on investment. So they need to make the ‘thought crime’ look convincing to the public, even if they have to use misinformation to get their desired affect.
They have to make us think the risk of catching someone who ISN’T looking for a child is so small as to be worth all those saved children. They give us a ‘Sophies choice’ effectively, saying they have to do these stings in order to keep our children safe. Don’t you want safe children? What’s wrong with you?
Of course, your reply is Yes! Yes I want safe children!
And they answer us with these sex stings….to pretend to protect your daughters, give us your sons. When your sons are locked away, your daughters will be safe.
Someone writing a comment about the New York Times article stated if a few innocent men go to prison while catching child predators, it would be worth the cost. Her ‘sophies choice’ was the little girl. My guess is she’s not a mother. Those who are understand the impossibility of such a choice.
To that woman I say, you first. Let the innocent person whose life is ruined be your dad, brother, uncle, son… Then let’s see how you feel.
As for myself – I refuse to chose. We can keep our children safe and not incarcerate innocent men. I will accept nothing less. Neither should the rest of us.