Update Post 08/18/16:
Around 12 noon
The Daily Progress removed everything Sex Offender related from the online article including the employer but the print version that went out was the full RTD article. Still it's something.
Thank you Daily Progress!
The Daily Progress reprinted the RTD article Police: Sex offender led trooper on high-speed chase in Louisa http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/crime/police-sex-offender-led-trooper-on-high-speed-chase-in/article_76d13e0b-92ec-5201-9b0f-d902388a46d0.html so they received the same email from me this morning.
Original Post 08/17/16:
Ms. Ali Rockett,
I read your article online State police ID motorcyclist who led trooper on high-speed chase in Louisa as sex offender from Surry http://www.richmond.com/news/local/central-virginia/louisa/article_1bbedeb5-18f8-5420-baba-accaf1ebecc0.html early this morning and I’ve stewed about it for 6+ hours. It was Tweeted late last night and Facebooked two hours ago by RTD.
I know nothing about Justin Eugene Abney. I am not defending him, his past convictions or his recent actions on his motorcycle in Louisa Co. It’s good that he’s been identified so he can be held accountable for his dangerous/reckless driving.
But two parts of your article are really bothering me.
1. What does his posting on the VSP Registry have to do with being sought for a motorcycle incident? If you were able to determine he had been convicted of an assault, robbery, drug, DUI or even murder back in 2005, would you have felt the need to include that in your recent RTD article? I am actually thinking you wouldn’t have. But because the VSP Registry is right there w/ all the details, you thought what the heck ‘Sex Offender’ in my title will catch more reader’s attention.
His conviction in 2005 has nothing to do with the on-going issue in Louisa and including it in your piece was pure sensationalism.
2. Why did you feel the need to post his employers information?
Did you know that only 6 States in the entire
U.S. post the
employer/company name and the full address of their RSO’s online and that is one of those
No Employment Information Publicly Listed:
County and Zip Code Publicly Listed: Employer City
and Occupation Publicly Listed: Employer City
Employer Street Name and Zip Code Publicly Listed:
Only Employer Address Publicly Listed:
Employer Name and Address Publicly Listed:
** - July 1, 2012
removed ALL employment information from their public registry Kansas
** - September 1, 2013
removed ALL employment information from their public registry Texas
** - State is Certified Federal Adam Walsh Act AWA/SORNA compliant by the SMART Office
releases information for registrants who will come into direct contact with
Did you know that the reason the majority of the States don’t post any employer information on their Registered Sex Offenders is so that RSO’s can find and retain stable employment so that they can provide for themselves, their families and successfully reenter society?
Did you know that most
businesses who hire RSO’s quickly release them not because of their prior
conviction but because they don’t want their company’s information plastered on
the VSP Registry? Virginia
Did you know that for the last 8 Virginia General Assembly sessions I have worked very hard to get legislation proposed and passed to remove the employer information from the Internet?
Ø 2010- SB635 (Amended and then passed the Virginia Senate 40-0 to then be stopped in a House Militia, Police and Safety Sub-Committee of 6, Virginia State Police publicly opposed it.)
Ø 2012- HB413 (“Laid on the table” instead of voting by the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee of 8, Virginia State Police publicly opposed it.)
Ø 2016- SB11 (Amended and then passed the Virginia Senate 22-17 to then be stopped in House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub-Committee of 12)
Mr. Abney may be wanted by the police but his employment and his employer has nothing to do that.
By publishing his employer you’ve not only insured Mr. Abney will lose that job but that his employer will probably never hire another RSO again because they don’t want to risk being shamed in the press ever again.
You took it upon yourself to report unnecessary details today to ‘sweeten’ your story and it’s extremely disappointing.
I expect this kind of reporting from many of
television stations but I hadn’t expected in the Richmond Times Dispatch. Virginia