A year ago, when a deranged drunken white man shot and killed an Indian man in Olathe thinking he was Iranian, the media were as curious as they could be. They swarmed Olathe and wrote literally hundreds, if not thousands, of articles about the shooting. This past week, in fact, they were running anniversary articles.
The media are not nearly as curious about the “Lee’s Summit man” who shot a woman in both of her legs after shooting up various buildings around town. Given the understandable media interest in assaults on women, this story should have fit their narrative and made a significant stir. What has dimmed the media’s enthusiasm is the man’s name, Belal Saadeh Rhaimeh, 25.
In the early morning hours of Thursday, a woman who went to dinner with Rhaimeh grew alarmed at his increasing erratic behavior and tried to get away from him. When she tried to flee in her own vehicle, he trailed her around the Country Club Plaza in his car, finally pulled even with her, and shot her in both legs through her car door.
The media much prefer stories of Muslims as victims to Muslim’s shooting women. Rhaimeh’s Facebook page strongly suggests he is a Muslim. He travels a lot, including trips to various American cities and the Mideast, and he is a passionate advocate of Palestinian liberation.
If Rhaimeh is a Muslim, his arrest record dating back to 2014 suggests he is not a very good one. In Jackson County, Rhaimeh has been called into court for at least five different offenses, including a drug and alcohol related traffic arrest, a vehicular injury charge, and several other traffic charges.
In October 2016, seven charges were brought against Rhaimeh in Clay County. He was charged with a Cass County Sheriffs Department felony warrant, a Lee’s Summit Police Department misdemeanor warrant, driving while intoxicated, driving with no lights, careless and imprudent driving, no seat belt, and no insurance. He also appears to have been arrested in Johnson County, Missouri. This makes at least four Missouri counties in which Raimeh has had a brush with the law.
If the media were curious, they might ask any number of questions about Rhaimeh. How is he still able to drive? How is that he owns a gun? What does he do that allows him to travel the world in between his arrests?
The media, however, know these questions can lead no place that is of any good political use. So why ask them?