Why not cooperate?

Lost in the uproar over the trampling of Steven Turner's civil rights ["Fishing trip: 'Harassment' charges in rapist search," News, March 25, and "Profile surprise: How I made CPD's hit list," Essay] is the fact that the Charlottesville Police Department is trying to catch a serial rapist.

Shame on the police for using victims' descriptions of their attacker to focus their search.

Would we all be happier if CPD was ignoring this information, wasting time and resources looking at men who don't bear the slightest resemblance to the attacker? And two requests for a voluntary DNA sample constitute harassment?

Turner was not handcuffed, beaten, dragged to jail, staked out, followed, or otherwise molested by the police. He was asked twice to do something he didn't have to do, and twice he declined. Would it be harassment if Turner's friend twice asked him for a ride home from the airport? Or if he was twice asked for spare change on the street?

Thanks to Turner's selfish world-view, and his eagerness to share it, hundreds of local men may follow his example and refuse to cooperate with the police, making it that much more difficult for them to catch the scumbag who has already terrorized 18 women. Countless more may be victims while men like Turner stand on their self-serving principles, failing to see that the safety of the community depends on everyone's cooperation.

The day CPD knocks on my door and says they're looking for a bearded white man rape suspect, they'll get my cooperation– and my DNA.

Martin Gray