By now, many of you have seen a story we wrote that went online yesterday and in the paper this morning – a story about how the campus police at North Carolina received a report of a possible aggravated assault at the Aloft Hotel.
The original report we received didn't say much. It indicated that it was associated with the Clery Act – a law that mandates colleges and universities keep track of crimes, and alleged crimes, on or near campus. It contained the words “allegation of aggravated assault.”
Beyond that, nothing: no names. No further description of what happened. Or didn't happen.
Eventually, the campus police chief, Jeff McCracken, confirmed that the report was tied to the altercation among football players at the Aloft in early August. Jackson Boyer, a non-scholarship receiver on the team, allegedly received a concussion during the altercation. Yahoo! Sports, which first reported this story, originally described the incident as “hazing.”
Naturally, the response to this story has been predictable among the most vocal of UNC supporters. It has been what I've come to expect when The News & Observer, or any other outlet, publishes a story that's the least bit controversial about UNC (and I'd argue this isn't even really controversial): accusations of bias, name calling, more accusations of bias, “you just hate UNC,” and on and on.
Rather than keep track of the email and all the feedback I'm receiving on Twitter, I thought I'd instead direct folks to this – a frequently asked questions of sorts. This should answer a lot of concerns about this story.
A. The purpose of the story is to show that there was a police record of the incident – however skimpy and inaccurate it was, given all the missing information – and to show what happened after police received word of the incident. If you read the story, you'll know that not much happened. The Chapel Hill Police didn't investigate anything. It's newsworthy because people were wondering about the level of police involvement in this case, if there was any, and it answers some questions about how the authorities handled it.