Serial Rapist DNA Testing Story Goes National

Ten minutes ago, CNN Headline News ran a story about the serial rapist and the DNA testing of black men, featuring WRIC footage from last night’s community meeting led by Chief Timothy Longo. They entitled the story “Controversial DNA Testing,” and approached the story as a case of racial profiling. CNN turned the story into their “Question of the Day,” asking people to e-mail Kathleen&Renay@CNN.com with their opinions, which they will air a selection of later on this afternoon. It looks like the #1 city is getting some unwanted national attention.

19 Responses to “Serial Rapist DNA Testing Story Goes National”


  • Gee, let’s do some common investigation here:

    The rape suspect has been reported by the victims to be black. Why would the police start testing whites, asians, females or anyone else for that matter? It’s called investigating. Get over it.

  • Kevin Drum (aka Calpundit) has posted this story on his Washington Monthly blog. There are comments, a few of them more insightful than the lone comment posted here so far.

  • I don’t think anyone is saying the police should test whites, asians, females. I haven’t seen anyone take that position in anything I’ve read or heard about this case.

    I think what people ARE saying is don’t randomly test black men in Charlottesville simply because they’re black men, with no more specific reason to suspect that they might be the serial rapist. I think people are disturbed because it seems that because the serial rapist is a black male, therefore all black males are suspects. In general, this is not a principle (i.e., your race/gender combination makes you a suspect in and of itself) that we accept in the US.

    I’m a white female. If a white female has been serial shoplifting at Belk, is it right for store police to search my bags every time I leave Belk purely based on the fact that I’m a white female? Even if I’ve done nothing to raise the suspicion that I’ve shoplifted? I don’t know too many people who would react favorably and feel good about having been searched solely on the basis of their skin color and gender.

  • I have to disagree with you about this. Your example is a little thin for agruement. Now if there was a blond short hair, 5’3, 110-120lbs, mid-20’s that was a serial shoplifter and that match your appearance then of coarse Belk would keep an extra eye out on you. Yet if they harass you and you didn’t do anything, then thanks to this great country of ours you can sue the living daylights out of them.

    I think it is funny that people are up and arms about this DNA tracking. Now if I recall the police keeps records of a person’s fingerprints. Why is that different?

  • "Yet if they harass you and you didn’t do anything, then thanks to this great country of ours you can sue the living daylights out of them. "

    Isn’t that what the police are doing to black men in Charlottesville? They’re not, as far as I know, zeroing in on only black men of a certain height, weight, age, etc. They’re approaching a wide range of black men who only seem to have in common that they are black, and men.

    "Now if I recall the police keeps records of a person’s fingerprints. Why is that different?"

    It’s different because they only have my fingerprints if I’ve committed a crime. They’re not walking up to people for whom there is no evidence that they’ve committed a crime and taking their fingerprints and putting that in a handy-dandy all-purpose crime database. They don’t have my fingerprints, for example.

  • "It’s different because they only have my fingerprints if I’ve committed a crime.

    I don`t know if you use "my" as all encompassing or referring only to yourself but apparently

    you have never seen military service. Millions of us who have were fingerprinted. What is the problem? Is it your position our fingerprint cards should be destroyed upon discharge from service?

  • "Isn’t that what the police are doing to black men in Charlottesville? They’re not, as far as I know, zeroing in on only black men of a certain height, weight, age, etc. They’re approaching a wide range of black men who only seem to have in common that they are black, and men."

    They have a hand drawing of the serial rapist. Are you telling that since it was black man, that this is giving them the excuse of going out and getting DNA from every black man in CVille. They are only getting ones that match the description. If you didn’t commit the crime, why are you so up in arms anyhoo. If the rapist was white, and they would be collecting DNA of white guys too, however we would not hear this b!tching and moaning about i since they are white. Hell, if the rapist was white and match my description, I would be HAPPY to provide DNA if they ask for it.

    Lastly, you people are the ones saying the police ought to do something. They have tried everything it seems. I am sure they don’t want to do since it is making them look like racist profilers. I don’t know. If you guys have a better idea in finding the serial rapist, I am sure the police would like to know.

  • IamDaMan wrote, "They are only getting ones that match the description." From what I’ve read, that’s not true. From the Cav Daily (14 April), a quote from Longo:

    "He said individuals on the list have been added for a variety of reasons — either they were already in the records management system because of previous contact with the police, or they were added after a standard service call to police or a tip to the Crime-Stoppers telephone line mentioned them by name. "

    So, that’s not narrowing down to just the black men who fit the physical description, as you claim they are doing. You might argue that having had previous contact with the police is a good enough reason to be a suspect (speeding ticket? good enough, he might be a rapist!), although typically in the US we don’t accept that. Or you might argue that having someone (angry neighbor? ex-girlfriend?) call in your name to CrimeStoppers is a good enough reason to be a suspect. But you can’t, I’m afraid, say that they’re only targeting the black guys who fit the description.

    I think it’s ironic that some of the most conservative, anti-government voices are so pro-state power in this case. Government keep out of my business! Don’t interfere with my God-given right to fly a huge Arby’s flag in front of my restaurant! Don’t get in the way of my profits! Government = bad! Wait–government is bugging black guys? Cool.

  • "I think it’s ironic that some of the most conservative, anti-government voices are so pro-state power in this case. Government keep out of my business! Don’t interfere with my God-given right to fly a huge Arby’s flag in front of my restaurant! Don’t get in the way of my profits! Government = bad! Wait–government is bugging black guys? Cool."

    funny, you know all I am saying if targeted suspects fit a certain description black, white, indian, or asian then I don’t see why everyone is up and arms about proving their innocent. Now if I turned on the news to see a sketch drawing of a guy who look just like me and people were turning me in. I have no problem turning in my DNA.

  • A lot of this has to do with the severity of the crimes and the difficulty of catching the guy. Of course it would be unreasonable to test every white female because of "serial shoplifting at Belk." However, police have to do everything in their power to see that this guy doesn’t strike again. DNA testing is a small price to pay for a safer community.

    I also disagree with the way this (and so many other things in Charlottesville) have to become a racial issue. Just because it involves black people does not mean it’s racism. We’d get along a lot better if we’d stop accusing people of racial profiling, crimes motivated only by hate, etc.

  • /ARGEE

    that rapist HATES women, if anyone has a better idea to catch this turkey then by all means tell us.

  • do you actually think the serial rapist, if asked, would provide the police w/ a DNA swab that would incriminate him?

    what they’re doing is narrowing down their search. by using DNA to eliminate a number of potential suspects (based on description), they can focus their efforts on suspects they know nothing about. if they get DNA from guys A,B and C, but they have nothing on D,E and F, then, next time there’s an attack, they don’t have to waste their time figuring out where A,B and C were at the time of the attack. rather, they can focus on D,E and F.

    this really shouldn’t be as big a deal as it is. hell, it’d be a non-issue if the rapist were white. but i guess to some people, crying wolf about racial discrimination is more important to their agenda than catching a predator who’s been terrorizing women in c’ville for nearly a decade.

  • Blanco said:

    " but i guess to some people, crying wolf about racial discrimination is more important to their agenda than catching a predator who’s been terrorizing women in c’ville for nearly a decade"

    Insight? Blanco`s comment has the insight and plenty of it.

  • i think, since rapists are known to brag about what they have done, someone should be contacting companys that the rapist may contact via an 800 #, sounds silly i know, but i work for a company that takes customer service calls for the charlottesville area and we get calls like that! people bragging about raping or beating someone up or threating authority figures, they like to brag to people who don’t really know them, they don’t see them as a threat!!there is a guy that has given a few details of these rapes to reps and we have to forward that info to authorities…but i don’t think the authorities think to contact companies (like electric & phone & cable & etc…)companies with strange questions about things like that!

  • <i>If a white female has been serial shoplifting at Belk, is it right for store police to search my bags every time I leave Belk purely based on the fact that I’m a white female?</i>

    <p>

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    That is not analagous to this case. The police are not forcefully taking DNA samples. They are requesting that these people voluntarily provide samples.

    So it would be like the store security asking you nicely to open your bags. Which they have every right to do. You also have every right to say no and leave.

  • Uh yeah, please parse that HTML in your head. Thank you, please drive thru.

  • How can anyone be suprised that the media is trying to make this into a racist issue? I’m suprised the press coverage wasn’t worse!

    The media doesnt care about truth, they just care about ratings.

    I dont remember the exact news agency. But back in the 90’s a TV news station was doing a story about the assault weapons ban. And they wanted to show people how powerful an AK-47 is (Its always a weapon made by the enemy that they use when they want to scare people, its never an american M16).

    So they decided to shoot a watermellon with it. If any of you know anything about guns, you know that a 7.62mm round will just put a tiny hole in the watermellon, go through it, and make another tiny hole going back out again. Not at all impressive. From a distance you can’t even tell the watermellon was hit at all.

    So they asked a cop at the firing range to shoot it with his .45 cal. handgun. Being a hollowpoint, and a much heavier and slower round, it blew the watermellon apart in spectacular fashion. They then aired that footage of the watermellon exploding as being from the ak-47.

    So you see, its all about the ratings. The truth is totally unimportant. Didn’t FOX news just win a court ruling saying it was perfectly legal for a news agency to lie?

  • I recall way back when Dateline (not 29) got sued for making a car explode after adding some more gas to make the car explode bigger.

    Yeah, I agree the press blows nowadays. They have to ‘hollywood’ everything for the almighty ratings. Because without ratings, they don’t have sponsors. And without sponsors, they go broke.

  • It’s eduTainment :)

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