Rachael Barnhart has an exclusive story on the Goodman St. gay bashing incident that paints a much more confused story than the one we’ve been led to believe was the case to this point. There seems to be some indication that the alleged victims in the case refused to help finger suspects in photo line-ups, among other curiously suspicious acts:

13WHAM News Exclusive: RPD Report Finds No Hate Crime – 13WHAM.com

Investigators identified four people who fought with the alleged victims, but at no point did they consider those four people suspects. Yet two weeks after the incident, Chief Moore announced the department was looking for four suspects, two men and two women. The incident report says, “Per our criminal investigation, no suspects have been identified or interviewed by us thus far.” According to the incident report, three of the alleged victims refused to talk to the investigators and none of them would help identify photos of the four people.

This is why, under normal circumstances, everyone involved in a bar fight that is dumb enough to let the cops see them spends a little time in the joint. Get a bunch of hot-head kids together with alcohol and this happens over and over again. The police report rings very, very true for anyone who has spent time hanging around South Goodman bars.

But a lot of the onus is on the Rochester Police Department to be more clear with the public on this issue. I realize there is a limit to how clear one can be with an ongoing criminal investigation, but at what point to they have an obligation to straighten out the story? Some people – many people – have already walked away from this story with whatever their opinion might be.

I’m sure the local media bears a great deal of responsibility, too. Clearly, some details have gotten lost along the way that might have led us to a different conclusion.