J2150 Week 5: How far is too far?

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, msnbc.com published a news article titled, “Police buy cemetery plots to block Josh Powell from being buried next to his boys.” Within just a few hours of it appearing online, almost 200 comments were made by the public in response to the news directly on the page of the post. 

The question I’m asking is how far is too far? Did the police overstep their boundaries by buying the plots next to Charles and Braden Powell? The important thing to notice from this story was not only did the sheriff and sergeant pull their personal funds to pay for the plot, but Crimestoppers also raised money for the cause. 

In my opinion, I think what the police did was perfectly acceptable. When they are off duty, they are still equal citizens, just like the rest of us. Since the majority of the public seemed to support what the police did and even offered to donate some money of their own to the cause, I think the police were just doing what they thought was right as citizens. Even though they had professional involvement in dealing with Powell and the death of his children, at the end of the day, police are people too and they have emotions and feelings. 

Powell Family - Picture from americanlivewire.com

Many of the public comments seemed to be very supportive of the decision the police made. At the same time, the comment were extremely hostile and angry, as is expected when people find out that a father killed his own children. Just to represent how upset some people were, some examples of the comments are, “I’d dump Josh’s body in the woods and let the animals deal with it,” “I think the city dump is too good for the pig’s body,” and “I think he (Josh Powell) should be cremated and flushed down a toilet.” These are just a few samples. 

Some people think that the police should have left the family to deal with buying the plots. But what if the family didn’t act quick enough? It would just be unbearably disturbing to know that a killer was put to rest next to his victims. I would like to know more from the relatives of Josh, Charles and Braden Powell as to how they feel about the police buying the plots. 

This was such a tragic event, and I like that the public is able to voice their opinions directly on the online article. Overall, I’m glad the sheriff and sergeant did  what they did. Thank you. 


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This entry was published on February 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm and is filed under J2150. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “J2150 Week 5: How far is too far?

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about this story. I would have been perfectly content to just have a 50 minute discussion about the social ethics of this decision, but there’s that whole thing called a lesson plan…

    I’m in agreement that the police officers were acting in a perfectly acceptable manner as people, though I’d hope that the Crimestoppers fund had provisions for using money in this manner. It just seems odd to use Crimestoppers funds for burial plots when those funds are normally used for proactive, educational purposes.

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