Just an update to the earlier note about a man being charged with dumping paint on Denver’s Blue Bear sculpture: The Denver District Attorney said the charges could not be proven with the evidence provided and the man was released. Some local media, who had previously identified the man by name and released his picture, subsequently deleted his name and photo. Accordingly, I removed his name from my post.
As I recall in an earlier discussion somewhere on Pied Type, a question was raised about releasing the names and pictures of crime suspects, people arrested who have not yet been proved guilty of anything. Their names and reputations are on the line, associated with the crime, and yet if they are later released or found not guilty, the public rarely hears about it; the damage has been done. And yet it happens all the time. It’s a gray area in journalism. The arrests are public record. And public records are routinely reported by the media. And in this case, the police released the man’s name and photo.
This raises another question. What kind of evidence did the police have that warranted this man’s arrest? Whatever it was, the DA subsequently decided it didn’t support the arrest and returned the case to the police for further investigation. There are a lot of unanswered questions here.
On a slightly different tack, I was looking again at all the photos of the damage and noticed for the first time that the paint was not simply poured or dumped onto the sculpture from above. It looks like someone was actually on the bear working with a roller. That strikes me as a bigger stunt than just dumping paint from the overhanging roof. How did the vandal(s) get up on the 40-foot sculpture? (Hmm. Well, climbing is not an uncommon skill around here.) And what was in that triangular spot that didn’t get painted? I’m more intrigued than ever by this case.