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June 18, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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June 18, 2015
 

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p . CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, June 18, 2015 Once again the nightly news broadcasts, both na- tional and local, found a story that they could not get enough of. On June 5, a McKinney, Texas policeman, Cpl. Eric Casebolt got caught on cell- phone video strong-arm- ing a 14-year-old girl to the ground as he helped to quell a disturbance stemming from a pool party held in this Dal- las suburb of 150,000. The problem was, along the way, Casebolt briefly drew his weapon, quickly holstered it, and then returned to try, with the help of 11 other McKinney Police Department officers to restore order. The questions surround- ing this incident are many and a single effort to ad- dress themis impossible. And as usually is the case, the news cycle spins quickly to find a new emphasis: In this instance the focus found our neck-of-the-woods with the wacky tale of Rachel Dolezal. The events in McKinney ended up with no arrests or injuries, except it appeared to result in the death of the career of Casebolt, who, not long after the incident, re- signed from the McKinney PD. His chief rightly said his actions were totally out of line. And we agree. However, one must ask why was Casebolt even on duty to respond to the call based on how his day had gone so far? In terms of his daily horoscope, it certainly had to be a no-star day. Casebolt's attorney said a possible contributing fac- tor in the situation of his brief meltdown as the of- ricer having just responded to two suicide calls earlier in the day. That news came to light, a full five days after the original incident. None of us can begin to know what carrying on with an already stressful job would be like after unsuc- cessfully interceding as a father shot himself in front of his family, and a teenager was convinced not to jump from the roof of her parent's home. The man who killed him- self was black and Casebolt helped comfort his wife. So charges of racism in the pool party incident seem to lose a little of their luster. There are plenty of un- answered questions in this incident, and cries from civil rights activists for further punishment of the officer, including criminal charges. With a significant pres- ence of officers on scene, in hindsight, might it have been better for Casebolt to not even go to the call? One of the biggest mysteries is why - especially with all the emphasis these days on sensi- tivity, mental health and train- ing in handling racial matters - was there not a plan in place at the police department that would reel in an officer who had a day like Casebolt's? Seems there would have been a mechanism where a red flag would fly with any officer having to deal with a suicide call -particularly one that resulted in such a violent ending - and that they be pulled off duty. And he had been part of two. After all, when there is an officer-involved shooting that person is put on admin- istrative leave. Aside from the police side of things, the media played its part. In the race to get it first, they once again failed to get it all told in proper con- text, or in a manner that did not influence and inflame. And when we add in the social media aspect, one that, according to a Pew Re- search report delivers news to 61 percent of the Mil- lennial Generation, there's another problem. Much of the information that moves into the main- stream does so quickly, unfiltered, not edited and, perhaps, not all fully factual. Retractions, edits and up- dates never fully reach ev- eryone so people come away with faulty information with which to base their opinions. If the McKinney incident included more information and context when it was first reported, it might have given the audience a better understanding of Casebolt's day and forced them to think a little rather than rush to judgement. Write to the Point Dolezal' family disput leaks into her professional lif By AL STOVER Staff Reporter What starts out as a simple dispute can sometimes grow to unimaginable proportions. In the last week, many eyes across the nation have been fix- ated on Rachel Dolezal, the re- cently resigned president of Spokane's NAACP chap- ter and a part- time African AI Stove Studies pro- fessor at Eastern Washington University. Dolezal, who is originally from Montana, has been under the microscope after her parents revealed to the media that she is white with a trace of Native American heritage and alleging that their daughter has been portraying herself as a black woman. Dolezal initially dismissed her parent's claims, saying it was a result of a family dispute and adding there are "a lot of complexities." Dolezal's parents, who she has not spoken to in years, re- leased photos depicting their daughter with blond hair and fair skin and documents that state they are both white. In an interview with TODAY's Matt LaueL Dolezal said she idenfiS ties herself as "black" and has done so since she was 5 years old - something her family disputes though they have said she had always been interested in African American culture. In an interview with CNN, Ezra Dolezal, Rachel's adopted brother who is African American, said he noticed his sister's physical changes when she was an adult, though he compared the transfor- mation into living in blackface." He added that she did not know "what itwas like to be "black" and "never went through the struggles that go with it." What started outas a simple filmily disputehas led to astory that has taken a life of its own. She's talked about being the victim of hate crimes in past interviews, but now we are hearing about the lawsuit she filed against her alma matter, Howard University in 2002, that she was discriminated against because she was white. She's also talked about the oppression she suffered from her parents and ex-husband. Some of my friends have thrown around the term "tran- sracial" and compare Dolezal's ordeal to Caitlyn - former- ly Bruce - Jenner, which is comparing apples to oranges. While Dolezal embrace }ter identity at an early age, Jenner struggled with his identity, even going as far as to take medication and go through therapy. Dolezal said she "takes ex- ception" to people saying that she was trying to deceive them. From a legal standpoint, Dolezal may have done noth- ing wrong - unless she lied about her race when she ap- plied to the city of Spokane's police,,oversight commission or other federal forms. From an See Write to the Point page 5 FREE SS Vol. 119- No. 9 Press Production Manager Editor Randy Warwick John McCallum Mailroom Su pervisor Reporters Bryce Ryen Paul Delaney AI Stover Pressman Mark Cordes Graphics Brittani Montecucco Sales John Myers Steve Barge DeeAnn Gibb Bookkeeper/Office Manager Debi Labish Front Office Dawn Chernak Rachel Stuart Publisher Harlan Shellabarger The Editorial Board is composed of Paul Delaney, A1 Stover, Brittani Montecucco, John McCallum and Harlan Shellabarger The Cheney Free Press is published every Thursday by the Free Press Publish- ing Company, William Ifft, president. Periodical post- age paid at Cheney, Wash. 99004. Published at 1616 W. First Street, Cheney, Wash. 99004. POSTMAsTER: Send address changes to: Cheney Free Press, P.O. Box 218, Cheney, Wash. 99004-0218. ID PUBLICATION # 102240 The Free Press re- quests that contributors observe the following dead- lines, which will be strictly enforced: OBITUARIES. MEETINGS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES - Tuesday, 10 a.m CHURCH. CLUB MEETINGS. ALL SOCIAL NEWS -- Monday, noon DISPLAY ADVERTISING Monday, 4 p.m. LEGAL NOTICES -- Monday, 5 p.m. CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING Tuesday, 11 a.m. Rates: Addresses in Spokane County, $24 per year; $36 per year outside Spokane County; senior citizens in Spokane County, $22 per year. For other rates, call 235- 6184. Subscription cancellations are non-refundable! HOW TO CONTACT US Phone: 235-6184 Fax: 235-2887 emall: cfp @cheneyfreepress.com www.cheneyfreepress.com Conservation, crop insurance and tax dollars By RACHAEL MEYER Contributor The federal crop insurance program provides an agri- cultural safety net, and crop insurance premium subsidies were created to increase usage of these risk management tools. The federal government subsi- dizes, on average, 62 percent of crop insurance premiums annually. Crop insurance guarantees income year after year, but does .... =+ %N not require much at all in terms of good soil and water con- servation. And nothing in the federal crop insurance program prevents or discourages the increased planting of marginal land or land that is unsuitable for row cropping in order to increase insured acres. And crop insurance policies will ul- timately guarantee revenue on every acre, regardless of how large the operation grows. Congress took money out of programs that support con- servation such as the Conser- vation Stewardship Program, all in the name of budget cuts. But, at the same time, they See Meyer page 5 +!II!~I, iGIiI,!II!:::: .::1 : :::::~:~:ii~! !!!,i;ili!Iii F ::!!:: +' John McCallum A1 Stover Editor Staff Reporter Main contact for editorial coverage. Coy- Covers all Medical Lake government, ers all Cheney government, communil~, community and school district news, as school district news and events, as well well as Airway Heights news and Cheney as Cheney High School sports.High School sports. ]mac @ cheneyfreepress, corn al @ cheneyfreepress.com Paul Delaney Staff Reporter Covers all Medical Lake High School and Eastern Washington University sports and news. Contact for miscellaneous sports. pdelaney@chene~vfreepress.com