Talk:STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Erickson's social media posts about Christianity[edit]

For his 'perveiced hatred' Christians 'do have' toward hoomosexuals. He also experessed to be 'not a fan of President Trump'. Should that be included?. Thanks.

Source: 1 Colorado school-shooting suspect hated Christians, Trump - WND. --LLcentury (talk) 11:24, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Since this may be a motivation for the shootings, it is relevant, but I am concerned about the source. Is there a better cite than WND?JohnTopShelf (talk) 12:26, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Cool, New York Post? Devon Erickson, Colorado school shooting suspect, shared anti-Trump post on Facebook — Preceding unsigned comment added by LLcentury (talkcontribs) 12:32, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

I have an issue with WanderingWanda reverting LLcentury's edit, which included Erickson's hatred toward Christians who hate gays. Since hatred of some sort is no doubt a motivation for the shootings, this certainly appears to be relevant. And it was reported by a number of sites. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JohnTopShelf (talkcontribs) 17:25, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
What sites? The NYPost is a conservative tabloid and WND is a fringe conspiracy site. Was it reported in any mainstream publications (like the The Washington Post, The New York Times, or the BBC)? And if so, do any mainstream sources specifically interpret the posts as "hatred" of Christians or as "anti-Christian"? Do any draw a direct link between the shootings and the posts? WanderingWanda (talk) 17:50, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
I'll add: If the Post's quotation of the suspect's social media feed is accurate: to me, the idea that the suspect expressed some sort of militant anti-Christian hatred is a humongous stretch. All I see is a middle-of-the-road statement about Christians who selectively quote the Bible to justify homophobia. It seems like the kind of thing my mom would say. Note, for example, that the post begins with You know what I hate? NOT You know who I hate? Don't take the (click)bait. WanderingWanda (talk) 18:25, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Is the Daily Mail a reliable source? Daily Mail article on the case which covers Christianity issue. --LLcentury (talk) 19:57, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

No, it's not considered reliable:
Consensus has determined that the Daily Mail (including its online version, dailymail.co.uk) is generally unreliable, and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist. As a result, the Daily Mail should not be used for determining notability, nor should it be used as a source in articles. An edit filter should be put in place going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference. WanderingWanda (talk) 20:12, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Perfectly understood, thank you, still searching for reliable sources, Washington Times, is it this reliable?, I am sorry I just want to help expand the article. Washington Times?. THanks again. - --LLcentury (talk) 20:59, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Seeing the article I think not, it has been accused of racism and conspiracy theories. I just want to help. --LLcentury (talk) 21:01, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for your good faith effort to improve the article LLcentury, I just don't think the suspect's views on Christianity are relevant to the article right now. That might change as the story continues to develop. WanderingWanda (talk) 21:36, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

@WanderingWanda and Newimpartial: A reliable source was given. The information was also noted in many other sources, including ones Wikipedia considers potentially reliable as per WP:RSP. If the specific placement of the information is considered suggestive, I would like to hear suggestions for another position. LilySophie (talk) 14:23, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

The correct procedure is that we discuss the possible sourcing here in Talk before making a decision about including potentially controversial material about living persons. So let's see the reliable sources. Newimpartial (talk) 14:28, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
A reference that is considered fully reliable by WP:RSP was already given in my edit. It was also reported by The Wall Street Journal (also considered a fully reliable source by consensus per WP:RSP), the Pulitzer prize-winning The Gazette, the New York Post (explicitly not considered an unreliable source), and The Washington Examiner (not considered unreliable, only restricted when making exceptional claims, whose requirements are not met by this addition). There are more, but this is enough to establish the inclusion as justified according to the rules of Wikipedia. LilySophie (talk) 14:56, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Are we talking here about the DV issue, or the Facebook posts? I am confused. On the latter, I can't read the WSJ article (late all), but is it a reprint of the Examiner piece? That's what the Gazette is doing.
As far as the Post is concerned, I am agnostic about its reliability, but would observe (1) that it places much less emphasis on the Christianity posts than it puts on Obama/Trump issues, and (2) the FB post about Christianity dated from 2014,i.e., five years before the shooting. This rather salient piece of context was missing from your edit (as, indeed, it was missing from the less reliable sources themselves). Newimpartial (talk) 15:12, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Oops. This was supposed to go in the section "Erickson's social media posts about Christianity." My mistake. As for the sources, we have two independent and fully reliable sources, a very likely fully reliable one and a handful of ones in which the consensus was that they are not unreliable. Hence, if you have no other objection, I would re-add the information. Which placement would you consider best? LilySophie (talk) 15:22, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
I have only seen one source on this that is not reprinting the dubious Examiner piece, namely the Post; I would also see it as quite UNDUE to emphasize the Christianity post in comparison to, say, the Obama/Trump posts thAt have received more emphasis in available sources. So no, you do not yet have consensus to re-add. And please note that you already exceeded 3RR for this tidbit, so it would be quite unwise to re-add it without consensus. Newimpartial (talk) 15:44, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
That is incorrect. Neither the NBC ref nor the Wall Street Journal reprinted the Examiner article. Your problem with accessing the Wall Street Journal article is unimportant, as per WP:PAYWALL: "Do not reject reliable sources just because they are difficult or costly to access." Therefore, we now have enough reliable sources for the inclusion of this information. It is also in no way WP:UNDUE, since UNDUE doesn't work that way. Suggest a place, if you like. Otherwise I will find one. If you keep objecting without legitimate argument, I will have to seek the involvement of a moderator. Thank you. LilySophie (talk) 15:52, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Seek the involvement of whomever you want, you are currently a minority of one. And this is BLP material, so affirmative consensus is required before including. Also, I don't know how you think UNDUE works, but your edit summaries have shown no comprehension of that principle, or of BLP and 3RR requirements for that matter. But my all means seek moderation if that is likely to help your process. Just don't add controversial BLP martial without consensus, please. Newimpartial (talk) 16:00, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Also note that your original source was actually "Inside Edition", which is not notably a RS. As far as the WSJ is concerned (I got in), the context they provide is "Friends of Mr. Erickson said the 18-year-old high-school student had been bullied because he was short and slight. He was also protective of people who identified as gay, they said. In a Facebook post attributed to him from 2014, he wrote, “You know what I hate? All these Christians who hate gays.”" That context is not adequately reflected in the content you are edit warring over, which is a shame considering that this is the best source we have so far. Newimpartial (talk) 16:13, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
1. LilySophie: Per WP:ONUS, the onus is on you to get consensus for adding the sentence about the suspect's Facebook post: The onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content.
2. I don't think the Facebook post merits inclusion right now. It does not seem very relevant to the shooting to me. (And it's especially not relevant to the section on threats, because there is no evidence that the post was a threat.)
3. My opinion is backed up by how little coverage the post has gotten. I'm not saying that no reliable sources have covered it. But my impression is that few have so far. WanderingWanda (talk) 16:50, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
I'm also weighing in as I was one of the editors who reverted an addition of the Facebook comment. I did so because the text at that time characterized the statement as "anti-Christian" and linked to the article on "Religious intolerance". LilySophie subsequently removed that qualifier. But based on their apparent conflation of "Christians who hate gays" with Christians in general (hating gays is not a required part of being Christian, though speaking as a queer atheist, I understand how some might feel that it is), and LilySophie's subsequent addressing of a fellow editor with the pejorative "transtrender", I do question whether they are acting in good faith here. Funcrunch (talk) 18:20, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
I'll add: if we do decide to cover the facebook post – and again I don't think we should, but if we do – it would need to be done very carefully and in a way that does not imply it is connected to the shooting. I think we'd need to make a separate section called "Suspect background information" or similar that was devoted to trivial, non-shooting-related, information about the suspects. (A "color" section, in journalism-speak.) WanderingWanda (talk) 19:16, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

I think any reliably-sourced information on the shooters and possible motivation is relevant and should be included. I am rather certain that if Erickson stated that he is a huge Trump supporter who hates gays, the editors here would have no issue including that information. In this case, when the opposite is true, it should be included. JohnTopShelf (talk) 12:00, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request:
I am responding to a third opinion request for this page. I have made no previous edits on STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting and have no known association with the editors involved in this discussion. The third opinion process is informal and I have no special powers or authority apart from being a fresh pair of eyes.

I have done quite some research looking for sources, and the earlier mentioned WSJ article was the only reliable source I could find that even mentions the post. Mentioning the post would give undue weight to it. Mentioning it a "Suspect backgroud" section is also a bad idea. This article is after all not on the suspects, but the shooting, and thus should only contain information directly related to the shooting. WP:UNDUE requires us to fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources (emphasis mine), but considering there has not even been more than 1 source it would most definitely fail it. MrClog (talk) 19:30, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

There is already consensus for including political views of school shooters even when their rampages were not political terrorism.

Columbine High School massacre: "Harris at least did revere the Nazis and often praised them in his journal".

Santa Fe High School shooting: "The Facebook page also included photos of his black duster coat with several buttons on it, with an accompanying caption: "Hammer and Sickle=Rebellion. Rising Sun=Kamikaze Tactics. Iron Cross=Bravery. Baphomet=Evil. Cthulu=Power".

Umpqua Community College shooting: "According to the Los Angeles Times, unnamed law enforcement sources described him as a "hate-filled" man with antireligious and white supremacist leanings, and with long-term mental-health issues".

Stoneman Douglas High School shooting: "Police said that he held "extremist" views; social media accounts that were thought to be linked to him contained anti-black and anti-Muslim slurs...CNN reported that Cruz was in a private Instagram group chat where he expressed racist, homophobic, antisemitic, and anti-immigrant (xenophobic) views".

Please do not revert this as forum chat because I am discussing changes to the article. I personally do not believe that any of this material should be included, because all were random attacks on the general public, not hate crimes. But if a collection of random and conflicting buttons that the Santa Fe shooter had are relevant to his crime, there is no reason not to include the views of these shooters. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.243.225.135 (talkcontribs) 14:23, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

There's political views and then there's political views. I see a pretty gosh-darn big difference between the suspect supported such-and-such presidential candidate and the suspect is a Nazi. WanderingWanda (talk) 18:17, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

Name used before context is given[edit]

The last sentence of the "Shooting" section currently begins "Officers also went to Erickson's home..." but who Erickson and what their connection to the event is is not mentioned until two sections further down the article. I guess most people will assume from context that they are a (suspected) perpetrator but that sort of assumption shouldn't be required - they could easily be a victim (not named until the following section), an associate, or someone else entirely. Thryduulf (talk) 18:48, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

No longer an issue, Erickson introduced earlier in that section. WWGB (talk) 03:16, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Suspect's Parents[edit]

On https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Harris_and_Dylan_Klebold#Eric_Harris the page lists information about the family the suspects came from. One of the suspects in this case, McKinney, has a father who engaged in DV, and was an illegal immigrant. https://canadafreepress.com/article/the-mexican-father-of-alleged-colorado-school-shooter-alec-mckinney-16-was Why should this not be included in the write-up for this section?

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold is a biographical article, STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting is not. What may apply to one article has no carriage to the other. In McKinney's case, his father's history has not been shown to have any relevance to the shooting, and so it has no place in this article. WWGB (talk) 03:27, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
We should be guided by reliable sources. Doing a search on the news tab of Google, I see very little coverage of this suspect's father, and none from mainstream sources. (Canada Free Press has been described as "an online conservative tabloid." and has an axe to grind.) WanderingWanda (talk) 03:33, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Per WP:BLP - If an allegation or incident is noteworthy, relevant, and well documented, it belongs in the article. On present indications the claims about McKinney's father fail all three of those criteria. -- Euryalus (talk) 08:24, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Mentioning suspects' names[edit]

Although both suspects' names have been reported in reliable sources, do we think it is appropriate to name them? There are two things to consider:

1. Some sources have chosen not to report the younger suspect's name because he is a juvenile. Should we follow suit?

NPR (1): Two students are under arrest — one has been identified as 18-year-old Devon Erickson and the other is a juvenile.

NPR (2): Two suspects are currently in custody. Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said one suspect is an adult male and the other is a juvenile male. Both are students at the STEM School, and were not previously known to local law enforcement. / The adult suspect was identified as Devon Erickson, 18.

NBC News: Erickson, 18, and a juvenile, who police identify as a girl but who prefers male pronouns, are accused of entering the K-12 school with handguns Tuesday.

2. We also need to consider WP:BLPCRIME, which was brought up above. To me, it indicates that we should "seriously consider" removing both suspects' names:

This section (WP:BLPCRIME) applies to individuals who are not public figures; that is, individuals not covered by WP:WELLKNOWN. For relatively unknown people, editors must seriously consider not including material—in any article—that suggests the person has committed, or is accused of having committed, a crime, unless a conviction has been secured. A living person accused of a crime is presumed innocent until convicted by a court of law. Accusations, investigations and arrests do not amount to a conviction.

WanderingWanda (talk) 04:00, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Yes. 84percent (talk) 04:18, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
The names of both suspects have been published around the world by multiple reliable sources, so they now satisfy WP:WELLKNOWN. There does not appear to be any judicial order to suppress the name of McKinney. Even then, Wikipedia is not censored. WWGB (talk) 04:45, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with this assessment. LilySophie (talk) 14:24, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Definitely. While I am sympathetic to the "don't make the shooters famous" position, we have a duty to include sourced, reliable information in the article. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 13:28, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Maybe for the 18 year old, considering most countries class them as an adult, but there is no obvious encyclopaedic urgency to name the 16 year old. The context is allegations about the role, motivation, and even past social media posts of a 16 year old. Different states and countries have very different legislation about how to publish statements about the prosecution and even conviction of 16 year old teenagers. If the prosecution concludes with a conviction of both suspects, then Wikipedia will have far firmer grounds to repeat the details of the proven case. For all we know there may be a successful defense or mitigation based on controlled coercion, mental instability, or similar. Wikipedia is not a place where we encourage a free for all on the personal data of a 16 year old, simply because they are in the process of being prosecuted for a serious crime. Though "not censored" is being repeated constantly, the real question should be whether this personal data is critical for the Wikipedia article to make sense and to be encyclopaedic. Just because juicy data is available in tabloids and websites obsessed with filling space in the 24 hour newscycle war, does not mean that the encyclopedia article stops being written for the long term.
As MrClog succinctly put it in the 3O above, "This article is after all not on the suspects, but the shooting, and thus should only contain information directly related to the shooting." -- (talk) 12:08, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
That's not how it works. We don't get to make value judgments as to the information that reliable sources report. While you may not like it, who the shooters are is a HUGE part of "the shooting", and as such, if reliable sources include their names, the article should include their names. This isn't even a hard call. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 12:52, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Actually the events of the shooting, the impact and the criminal case, pretty much everything encyclopaedic about the incident, can be perfectly well conveyed without publishing the name, birth date or image of the 16 year old suspect. The long term value to the encyclopedia article is what counts on this project, not what tabloids think sells more papers. If there is sufficient uncertainty here as to whether the child suspected of a major crime but not convicted of anything, should be treated with exactly the same respect as is extended to any BLP of a child, we could always run a RFC. -- (talk) 14:04, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
This is not current policy regarding including reliably sourced information in an article. If you want it to be policy, you should advocate for that change at the appropriate venue. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 18:55, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
BLP & BLPCRIME & BLPNAME. At the very top of the policy, BLP spells this out "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid: it is not Wikipedia's job to be sensationalist, or to be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives; the possibility of harm to living subjects must always be considered when exercising editorial judgment. This policy applies to any living person mentioned in a BLP, whether or not that person is the subject of the article, and to material about living persons in other articles and on other pages, including talk pages." -- (talk) 19:04, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Including the names of perpetrators is not "sensational" or "tabloid" in any way. It is reliably-sourced information that you simply don't think should be included. And wrapping the fact that you don't like it in a complete misapplication of BLPNAME and BLPCRIME doesn't change the fact that the core of your argument is that you don't like it. Hallward's Ghost (Kevin) (My talkpage) 19:26, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
I'll point to this portion of the quoted passage: the possibility of harm to living subjects must always be considered when exercising editorial judgment. We are supposed to consider whether what we publish might cause harm, and I think its fair to say, publishing the name of an underage suspect who has not yet been found guilty of a crime may cause harm. Giving notoriety to mass shooting suspects may also cause harm. Note also that it says we're supposed to exercise "editorial judgement", contradicting your claim that We don't get to make value judgments as to the information that reliable sources report. WanderingWanda (talk) 01:07, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
McKinney has now been charged as an adult, so there is no argument to suppress his name. WWGB (talk) 02:39, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

I think a number of editors who seek to include content in cases like this on the grounds that "Wikipedia is not censored" haven't really understood the purpose of that policy. It primarily regards posting content that some might find offensive, such as nudity and profanity. It doesn't mean that we can or are obligated to report every fact or opinion stated about living people, even if found in reliable sources. Funcrunch (talk) 15:57, 14 May 2019 (UTC)