Perhaps some of you have seen the things circulating around Facebook about a battered 23 year old woman and the 18 year old who assaulted her.
If you haven't seen them here are a few of the most biased in opposite directions that I could find.
This "news story" put out by News5 has testimonials from the victims family claiming hate and threat and only a few testimonials from the attorney talking about what few facts are actually on the table.
What we have is a very one sided view from people who weren't even there! This is called a rumor. I have lived in a small town. I know the harm rumors can cause and this rumor is kicking up quite a storm. Thousands of Facebook users and others are getting very fired up, sending hate mail and death threats to Travis M. Hawkins and his family. There's also a petition to get his charges upgraded to hate crime. I wonder if half the support would be there if Ms. Owens was not lesbian. Of course assault and battery is horrible, of course he will do some amount of time, hopefully something that helps him deal with his anger problems, but I can tell you if I had been beaten up I would not receive this kind of support from any community, partially because the communities I like to associate with believe in minding their own business. It is shocking to me that so many people can get so fired up about something without seeking all the facts first. One report said "authorities believe the beating took place over just a few seconds and that Hawkins only hit Owens three times." <http://blog.al.com/live/2012/11/woman_beaten_on_thanksgiving_b.html>. and yet I've read articles out there claiming his whole family just watched it happen without lifting a finger to help.
Obviously there aren't enough facts out there to get any clear details about what happened, so why are so many people letting themselves get worked up over an incident that could have happened to anyone anywhere? Yet another example of how Media can ruin lives with a negative spin and with no factual foundation, amazing and horrifying.
As a disclaimer, I'm not trying to excuse what 18 year old Travis M. Hawkins Jr. did. It was definitely an angry assault of a woman, which is not to be excused or taken lightly, however the way it has been blown up on the internet without so much as a word of fact from any of the witnesses who were actually there, including Ms. Owens girlfriend, is very disturbing to me. Rumors have always been able to ruin reputations, I'm just appalled that our media decided to participate in this one. Guess this is the kind of thing I should expect from our media these days: hate rumors and fluff pieces, gotta keep us distracted from the real problems in the world. How can we possibly get the truth out when the media is being flooded by this kind of distraction?