Where’s the Incident Report?

Most people reading this probably assume I’m talking about #Ferguson.  Instead, I have something in mind a bit closer to home:  the events that occurred on August 5 at the Beavercreek, OH Walmart.  If you are unaware of this case, you should be.   I don’t know what happened in the store on August 5, but I do know that one document important to the case has been withheld from the public.

Why hasn’t the incident report been released?  Both Crawford’s family/family’s lawyer and the Dayton Daily News have requested the incident report.  According to this new article, they’ve only received one line:

“Dispatched to Walmart for a disturbance/weapons complaint.”

The incident report is a public record and should be released immediately.   Ohio has liberal public records’ law, which is a good thing in my humble opinion.

Of course, for those not interested in the incident report, there’s a lot of other material to consider.  Audio and video have been released, and for those interested in the case, I encourage you to consider this material.

As someone who thinks a lot about incident report writing – and the ways that these documents are used by multiple audiences – I’m concerned that this document has not been released.  Is that one line all that was written as part of the incident report?

Now I understand that when there is an officer-involved shooting, a chain of events occurs.  Departments have policies about this, and I’d be curious to read Beavercreek’s policy manual.  For the sake of comparison, check out the San Jose PD’s policy.  Why did I pick this city?  Because it was readily accessible through a Google search.  Sorry, I wish it was a more academic or scholarly reason.

I hope that if you’re interested in Ferguson, you’re interested in Beavercreek, especially if it’s geographically closer to you than Missouri.  As I wrote earlier, I don’t know what happened on August 5, but I do know that the incident report is an important document that should be released in its entirety.



Apologies for lack of posting… and some new adventures

It’s been a very long time since I wrote here.  Not much has happened, and, of course, lots of things have happened.  I accepted a new position at my university, which means I have to leave my old appointment.  It’s a good opportunity, but I am sad to leave what I was doing.  

I’ve started getting to the gym more often; I’m still not working out as I used to do, but my motto is “something is better than nothing.”  

The other day was my mom’s birthday; now that she’s passed away, it’s a sad reminder.  

We’re heading to our favorite place in the world, Edisto Island, from where I hope to post pictures.  In the meantime, I’ll post a random picture from my files.

Ten years ago, this was Mom, Eileen, and me on Mother’s Day at Seaside; Dad is the photographer.



Seaside Mother's Day 2004 1


I guess it wasn’t so random. Love and miss Mom everyday, and so proud of my sister.

Edisto Island gives me such peace and energy, but more on that another time.

What’s that warm, wet feeling?

Last night something happened to me that has never happened, and I hope will never, ever, ever happen again.  I was sitting on our couch eating dinner.  Yes, we sometimes eat dinner in front of the tv.  I know that’s bad for families.  🙂 

I began to notice a warm, wet situation on my lower back.  It took me longer than it should have, but I turned to discover that one of our dogs was peeing…not just on our couch, which was covered with a sheet, because of their muddy paws, but on ME as well.  When I yelled, the dog didn’t stop.    

When people talk about house training pets, they say you need to catch them going, and shout or do something to distract them.  Well, there’s no distracting this dog.  She just kept going until she was done.  

Initially, I was angry, because it was gross… I ran for the shower and left the cleanup to my husband.  But then I chuckled.  It was pretty comical…. but still gross.  

Talking about race and ethnicity in the graphic novel class…

When developing my graphic novel class, I deliberately chose a range of graphic novels that represented different visual styles, themes, etc.  So, we’ve gone from reading BATMAN to FROM HELL to MAUS to SHORTCOMINGS to JIMMY CORRIGAN.  Of course, certain themes or questions common to several graphic novels emerge.  One has been race and ethnicity.  

During one class, I was a bit startled by some comments made by students regarding the topic.  So, after the class, I felt like we had some work to do in terms of thinking more deeply about the questions that were raised.   I talked with a colleague, who made some suggestions, including assigning Peggy McIntosh’s “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”  I planned a class, which was still focused on graphic novels, but incorporated (what I hoped) would be a more nuanced treatment of race and ethnicity…and of course I began the class by saying that no one class period, course, or even major could adequately address the topic (or topics, for that matter).  I emphasized that, for me anyway, it’s a lifelong conversation and engagement.  

Overall, I thought the class discussion went well.  People were comfortable talking, which is always a good sign.   I asked the students to write a reflection paper after considering our class, reading the McIntosh piece, and thinking more about whether graphic novels are an effective vehicle for facilitating conversations about potentially sensitive topics.  Usually, students post their responses to a Google doc, so that others can see what they wrote, but I decided against that for this assignment.  I didn’t want students to feel less comfortable sharing their perspectives or views by being worried about what others thought.  Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, but it didn’t feel quite right for me to force students to make public what they might prefer be private.  

I enjoyed reading the papers and providing feedback.  I gave every student who completed the work an “A,” because I just wanted them to engage with these ideas in a way that perhaps they had not done; I didn’t want to evaluate the quality of their writing, argument, etc.  

Several students wrote about liking the assignment and the discussion.  Several students found McIntosh’s essay offensive, troublesome, provocative, etc.  (I’d be shocked if no one responded to it in that way).  A few students wrote about how eye-opening the essay was.  I don’t expect one essay to change someone’s worldview completely (and permanently), so admittedly I was a little skeptical when it sounded like students were writing what they thought I wanted to hear or what they thought they should write.  My husband disagreed with me, and felt that an essay could have this effect on someone.  I guess he’s more optimistic than me. 🙂 

What emerged most from this is how much we need to continue the conversation.  I found myself reading my students’ words and wanting to speak with them, or listen more to what they had to say.  

Teaching Jimmy Corrigan…

Today we started Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, and I feel like I let the book down.  Its awesomeness just can’t be contained.  My approach was to give some brief background information on Ware and some contexts for the book – our student presenters will be talking more about Ware’s bio and connections to the book.   So, I shared some material from early 20th century comics.  I also shared Building Stories and talked about how that works (or could work).  Then we started with the book, and I began with the opening front matter.  I don’t think I had as coherent a set of goals for the day’s discussion as I should have had. I love the book and enjoy the experience of moving through it, especially rereading it.  But I probably should have been a bit more focused for my students.  Oh well, there’s Thursday…  if anyone has any suggestions for approaches to teaching this book, please let me know.  We have a couple of weeks on it (6 classes). 

My professional life exists in my inbox…

I can’t seem to escape it:  everything I need to do today seems to require me to be in my inbox.  It never, ever ends.  There’s something wrong with that. 

I hate feeling overwhelmed with things to do, and rather than feeling like I have something concrete to do, instead I have email to do.  Yuck, yuck, yuck.   This is not good for the soul.


The Race: Asian Australian, Part 10

A Holistic Journey

1) How do you define yourself racially or ethnically and why is it important to you? Please tell us about the racial makeup of your family if you were adopted or come from a colorful family.

I was born in Australia to very traditional Chinese-Malaysian parents. The word “Malaysian” refers to a nationality. There are predominantly three races living in Malaysia – Chinese, Malay and Indian. A very long time ago, the Chinese came and settled in Malaysia. My grandparents – and many generations before them – were born in Malaysia. My relatives and extended family don’t know where our ancestors originated. We don’t talk about Chinese history but the history of Malaysia. We’ve always considered ourselves Chinese people living in Malaysia. We don’t identify with China the country but with Chinese culture. Chinese Malaysian is similar to the term, say, Korean American.

Melbourne Melbourne

When I was growing up in Melbourne…

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