After eight people were shot, four of them fatally, outside a Buffalo, N.Y., restaurant, the Buffalo News published information on the victims’ criminal records, reports CNN. Five were convicted felons. Some critics burned the newspaper in protest. The newspaper stands by the decision, and says it’s an important if not painful part of the story.
The Rev. Kinzer Pointer of Agape Fellowship Baptist Church told CNN, “The morning after a family buries a loved one, I thought was wholly inappropriate and in bad taste” for the News to have published the criminal record information. Margaret Sullivan, News editor, told CNN, “This was the worst carnage that Buffalo has had in 30 years. It’s a very big story for us, and a very troubling one. We feel a great deal of compassion for the victims and their families and their friends.” She added: “We were aware from the beginning that all of the victims were African-American. I don’t think that has to do with racial stereotyping. We are looking at an incident in which there was a private party, and as it turns out, many of the people at this party were — had had significant experiences with the criminal justice system. And that seemed highly relevant to us. “