Make sure rumors don’t replace truth

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 30, 2003

This has been a tough weekend for the people of Demopolis, Marengo County and even Sumter County.

Over the past few days, there have been two men who left a funeral and fought to the ground with knives. Along with that, we’ve had another man who brandished his way through town, shooting at passers-by and innocent victims.

When unfortunate incidents like this take place, it’s important for people to take a step back and realize that a bad weekend doesn’t make for a bad place to live. At the same time, it’s imperative that people in a community as close as ours do their best to stop rumor and innuendo before it become some sort of mythic lore.

Email newsletter signup

Just in the two days after a shooting and a stabbing incident, the stories have grown into Hollywood-type movies. Some have told fables that Aesop wouldn’t have printed. Others have dissected the motive and reason for each incident and passed it along to friends and neighbors.

Readers must understand that The Demopolis Times has heard every single story and every singly rumor. We know what people have said on the streets, and we know that rumors move much faster than the truth.

In the articles you’ve read today about the unfortunate crimes that happened in or near our community, The Times has made it a policy &045;&045; something longstanding at this newspaper &045;&045; that we won’t print anything that doesn’t come directly from law enforcement. We refuse to print articles that deal with stories told from unreliable sources. We also refuse to get into the business of rumor-spreading. Rather, we have only printed what officials have told us, and we will stick by that policy.

With that, we encourage other people in the community to squelch the stories being told. For each and every incident, citizens here must trust the court system and the judicial process. Residents must know that our attorneys and judges and juries will do their jobs well and will eventually find a proper conclusion to each of the issues at stake.

Our thoughts are with the families that have become senseless victims in quite senseless crimes.