Sunday, June 14, 2015

Editors swallow official excuses on cops' lack of stun guns

The American Littoral Society, which is dedicated to coastal preservation, held its annual Members Day on Saturday at historic Fort Hancock in the Sandy Hook National Recreation Area.

The society's headquarters is in one of the old officers houses, in Highlands, overlooking Sandy Hook Bay. Members went on nature walks and had a lunch of fresh clams, sandwiches, salads and beer.


The Record reports New Jersey apparently was the last state to approve Tasers, a non-fatal stun gun introduced 17 years ago as an alternative to the use of deadly force by police.

And that wasn't until 2006.

Yet, the biggest police department in Bergen County, Hackensack, still doesn't have them (A-1 and A-10).

Hackensack officers killed two Hispanic suspects allegedly armed with knives since May 21, and on May 29, Lyndhurst cops killed a black man after he "assaulted officers with a knife." (A-10).

Municipal police in Bergen County also killed two other suspects, both black, armed with knives or "tools" in 2011 and 2012.

Official excuses?

Today's Page 1 story by Staff Writer Kibret Markos contains extensive quotes from Prosecutor John L. Molinelli on the slow roll-out of stun guns in Bergen County that critics might see as excuses.

But Markos doesn't bother interviewing any critics, and that may be because the reporter was assigned to cover Molinelli's office for years as part of his Bergen County Courthouse beat.

Even an editorial on cops killing three suspects in three weeks doesn't question why only 23 out of 70 local police departments in Bergen County have Tasers (O-3).

Clearly, the lives of minority men don't mean much to the white editors of the Woodland Park daily.

Hispanic names

Hispanics have lived in Bergen County for many decades, but that doesn't mean such six-figure editors as Deirdre Sykes, head of the local assignment desk, and Liz Houlton, the so-called production supervisor, have learned anything about Latino names.

On Friday, in the front-page coverage of Hackensack police shooting and killing Raymond Peralta Lantigua, 22, his sister is identified as Michelle Peralta and mother as Rosabla Peralta.

On Saturday, follow-up stories -- on the family, the police account of the shooting and how police are trained in the use of deadly force -- contain a different name for the mother, without acknowledging an error was made.


On Saturday, the mother was identified as Rosalva, not Rosabla, and her last name was given as Lantigua, not Peralta.

The man's father was identified in a Saturday A-1 photo caption as Ramon Peralta.

Traditionally, the man's mother would be named Rosalva Peralta Lantigua, Peralta being her husband's name and Lantigua her maiden name.

There also hasn't been any explanation of why the man who was killed used a hyphen between his father's and mother's names.

If you think that's insignificant and not worthy of comment, you aren't familiar with what copy editors and their supervisors are supposed to do to ensure accuracy.

Or, you've become accustomed to The Record's slipshod editing and proof-reading.

Hillary Clinton

The Record is so addicted to the conflict between the Republicans and Democrats, political Columnist Charles Stile was assigned to cover the kick-off of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign (A-1).

Of course, what Stile doesn't say is that Clinton's focus on women, minorities and the middle class in a war-weary nation virtually assures her election over Republican saber rattlers like Governor Christie. 

Maybe, Editor Martin Gottlieb believes he can sell more papers by focusing on endless political controversies rather than on reporting what's good for the country.

When will Gottlieb and other editors realize readers are bored with politics? All the evidence they need is how few people actually vote anymore.

More on Christie

Check out another in a series of critical Christie cartoons from Margulies on O-2 today.

But can readers take Columnist Mike Kelly at his word that he's just discovering the GOP bully has left "immense unfinished business" (O-1)?

Local news?

Don't look for much municipal news in Local today, especially on L-2, where you'll find two forms of filler: 

The Dean's List, and two too many photos of a tree that fell on a house in Woodcliff Lake.

Am I the only reader wondering if that grossly overweight man shown in a photo on L-3 is an active firefighter in Palisades Park?

My reservations

Chief restaurant critic Elisa Ung's Sunday column administers another tongue lashing to customers.

The Corner Table scolds people to who make reservations without "scanning the menu" and listing food allergies or "quirky eating inclinations" (BL-1).

But, really, is there any excuse for Chef Kevin Kohler of Cafe Panache, one of the best and most expensive restaurants in Bergen County, not always having live lobsters on hand for seafood lovers?

It's time for Ung to stop making excuses for restaurants, especially those enormously expensive steakhouses she loves that put profit over the health and welfare of customers by serving mystery meat and poultry.


  1. Hey Victor, when are you gonna quit bashing Elisa and Johnny Chick and inform your readers about the really important stuff, like when is the next Can Can sale at ShopRite?


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