Perp Walk of Accused IMF Chief Prompts Questions About Ethics


Are perp walks ethical? Some Europeans are outraged that International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is accused of attempting to rape a hotel maid in New York City, was subjected to a perp walk, reports Al Tompkins of The walks, at which law enforcers parade an accused criminal for the media, are a tradition in some American cities. But in France, it is illegal for the media to show video or images from a perp walk.

“Cynics might call the perp walk the crime reporter's red carpet,” said journalist Art Harris, who has covered dozens of celebrity scandals and criminal trials for TV, magazines and newspapers. “Police and prosecutors get to show off their trophy. Reporters lap it up because that's all we know we're going to get. After all, what better visual than an unshaven, shackled perp, sullen and shuffling?”

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