Before You Watch KGO's Report on MUNI Crime, Read This First...
Tonight ABC7's roving reporter Dan Noyes will be taking a look at crime on MUNI. For this story, one of the producers at ABC7 stopped by the neighborhood and asked me some questions, so I may or may not be on the news tonight. If you see some dude in a suit talking about MUNI crime it may or may not be me.
However, before the segment airs, I wanted to make a few things clear that you, the home viewer may not be aware of. In this story, they will be referring to a series of MUNI tapes from last fall (no doubt at the same time this article appeared in the Examiner,) with some specific incidents.
I was asked to comment on these incidents without the benefit of actually seeing them, but instead hearing a quick summary of "what happened."
As you can imagine, it's a bit hard to comment on a specific video without seeing it, so I was actually being asked to comment on a summary of what sounded like a "generic" what if scenario. As such it made it difficult for me to make comments that would be of direct relevance to said clips. Essentially, I was being asked questions as a hypothetical, when in fact they were about a specific incident. I don't think this was some sort of intentional thing on KGO's part - more like trying to produce a major segment in a short amount of time - so I don't want people to think that. But I do think it's important viewers know I couldn't see what was being discussed.
Moreover, even if I'd seen them, it is still difficult to armchair quarterback what a driver should or should not do during an incident, since a driver is in charge of moving vehicle, etc. and isn't armed to protect themselves from violent offenders.
So I tried my best to carefully parse my words so that I could communicate a) crime sucks b)crime sucks when it happens on MUNI c) the drivers have to do what they can to ensure passenger safety d) police officers should be available to bust bad guys and e) the bad people should be prosecuted because they're breaking the law. Whether that comes out after editing is unclear.
On a related note, if you read the latest issue of the Sunset Beacon, you can read a first hand report of a woman whose iPhone was stolen by violent thugs, and how she felt about it. This crime was first reported by the Taraval Station's daily report a while back.
All I want you, the reader/viewer to know is that I tried my best to comment on the general situation in an even-handed manner (i.e. crime is bad, boo crime on MUNI, hey some drivers have it tough, hey cops we like you please throw bad guys in jail) but had to do so without the benefit of seeing the video you the home viewer will see tonight.