Sunday, July 03, 2016

Am I Being Oversensitive Here?

Maybe it's just me.  I've been working this afternoon on a review of St. Louis Noir, another collection of crime-related short stories from Akashic Books.  While looking at the notes that I made while reading the book, two of them jumped out at me  - and I feel compelled to mention them in the review.  Both concern references made to Michael Brown, the Ferguson teen who was shot dead after attacking and beating one of that Missouri city's cops.  

The first is in the opening stanza of one of the four poems included in St. Louis Noir and mentions "the cold cop who killed Michael Brown."  That one is probably not all that terrible, I suppose, even if it does nothing to place that "killing" into context.  At least it didn't call the shooting a "murder."

The second comes from one of those brief little author bios that usually come at the end of books with multiple authors. In Umar Lee's bio (which I'm willing to bet is self-written) he casually mentions discussing on television "the murder of Michael Brown."  And I'm sure that it's no coincidence that he is currently "a candidate for mayor of St. Louis."  I'm sorry, but the policeman in question was not indicted for any crime at all, much less the crime of murder, making me believe that this may be the most wrongheaded author blip I have ever read.

Is it just me?  Or should this have been killed by an editor?  

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