Yes, it is another Wheeling Intelligencer plagiarism. Today’s editorial, “Fix Ohio’s Prison System,” most likely came from one of Ogden’s Ohio papers where it was stolen from an Associated Press reporter. Here is the first five paragraphs of a report by the AP’s Farnoush Amiri on September 15. I have highlighted in bold what today’s Intelligencer editorial stole (word-for-word) from Amiri:
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Three of the Ohio prison guards involved in the February death of inmate Michael McDaniel were* previously disciplined for excessive use of force or not intervening when inmates were in danger or guards used unjustified force, records show.
The disciplinary documents, obtained by The Associated Press, show a number of past incidents where Lt. Bruce Brown and correctional officers Adam Causey and Jerry Perkins were reprimanded for actions similar to those made in connection with McDaniel's in-custody death.
The three men were among the seven employees at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient who were fired last month after a state investigation into the death of the Black inmate found guards used unjustified force and a supervisor failed to intervene.
The Franklin County Coroner’s office had declared McDaniel’s death a homicide and ruled the cause as a “stress-induced sudden cardiac death.” The autopsy detailed injuries to his head, face, shoulders, wrists, hands, knees, feet, toes and abdomen. McDaniel also had multiple rib fractures, and the coroner found evidence of heart disease.
Security footage released by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in July showed McDaniel, 55, collapsing on his own and being taken down to the floor by guards at least 16 times before he died Feb. 6.
The Intelligencer editorial contains 203 words and 103 of those words are word-for-word from Amiri. Last Wednesday, I wrote about another Intelligencer editorial that was plagiarized from an AP reporter. (See here.)
Simply put, plagiarism is stealing. It is not a crime, however; it is intellectual theft with the punishment dependent upon the publisher recognizing it and then doing something to prevent it from happening again. That won’t happen here. As I wrote last week, our Ogden papers don’t care about their readers. Original reporting and opinion-writing takes time, but time is money. Plagiarizing saves lots of time. My hunch is that we will see a lot more of it in the future.
Our local papers get worse by the week.
*The editorial changed “were” to “had been.”