Every police chief in America has people who don't like them. But if you were to judge strictly off of the short bios written up in The Times, you'd think that the only candidates for Seattle's top cop job carrying any baggage were female.
Anne Kirkpatrick from Spokane is one of three women who The Times measured more carefully than their male peers.
Of the eight men up for the gig, nary a negative word is written. All you get are promotions and accolades.
Contrast that with how The Times treats the three women in the running.
Spokane police chief Anne Kirkpatrick received a vote of "no-confidence" from the police guild. Des Moines's Judy Bradshaw "faced criticism" for waiting too long to put two abusive cops on leave. And former Elgin, Illinois police chief Lisa Womack "ran into complaints about her lack of public involvement...according to an editorial about her departure in the suburban Daily Herald newspaper."
The Times can certainly be forgiven for not writing definitive biographies of the candidates a day after their names were announced. But it is strange that the only ones with marks on their records happen to be of the fairer sex. Especially since one of the male candidates has some very visible skeletons in his closet.As Vernal Coleman reported this morning, semi-finalist Adam Burden was accused of sexually harassing a co-worker. He's also been accused of employing some heavy-handed tactics when dealing with protesters.
Meanwhile, in The Times, we get that "Burden was named one of South Florida's 50 Most Powerful and Influential Black Professionals by Success Magazine."
Four of the six Times staffers who contributed to the bio round-up are women, so it's unlikely that any sort of overt sexism is at play here. Still, given how easily Burden's bodies were dug up, it's hard not to think the same can't be said of the other seven men given a free pass by the daily.