Ellie Bray: Hate crime or Just a simple bar brawl? | SummitDaily.com

Ellie Bray: Hate crime or Just a simple bar brawl?

Ellie Bray, wife of Dustin Meadows

I am writing in response to the recent article regarding an incident involving Dustin Meadows. I am appalled that this paper would print such a one-sided article about a 10 year local without any research into another side of the story.

Consider this from a less sensational perspective. This incident started simply enough with a post-party drunk, a mouthy bar patron, and a spilt beer. How often does this scenario happen in Summit County? How often does it really matter who plays in these roles? When you boil it down you find that neither race nor gender is a determining factor in a bar brawl, it’s actions and words.

We are all familiar with the saying “It takes two to tango” and it’s greatly concerning that the author of the article obviously only considered one perspective. Only getting half the story is lousy reporting and it’s shameful that the author did not fully investigate both sides. What about the possibility that there was unnecessary provocation or aggressive behavior from both sides? Add alcohol and isn’t that the perfect concoction for initiating a late night altercation?

And what about the words that people say in the heat of a drunken argument? Are they ever thought out, appropriate, or meaningful from either party involved?

But to turn and label this incident as a “hate crime” is absolutely ludicrous. The fact is that the potential for this would have been the same, regardless of who was playing the role of mouthy bar patron. To believe that this incident was racially motivated, especially without the full story, is small minded and irresponsible. I understand that the goal of the Summit Daily is to keep residents informed, but why bother if you’re only going to tell half the story?

Editor’s note: Meadows was the only person charged in the incident at the bar, which was labeled a “bias-motivated felony” – also known as a hate crime – by the district attorney. The incidents alleged in the SDN story come from Summit County Sheriff’s Office reports.

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