Colorado paper rues ‘Jewish descent’ description

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Colorado newspaper editor apologized for an article featuring a description of a burglary suspect that some deemed anti-Semitic.

The Vail Daily article described the suspect in a house break-in in Edwards, Colo., as being “of Jewish or Eastern European descent,” drawing its conclusion from a description provided by a witness characterizing the man as having “dark hair, large nose, pierced ears, narrow face and eyes that were close together.”

After a number of complaints, managing editor Matt Zalaznick, who is Jewish, posted a statement on June 24 deploring the use of the phrase “of Jewish descent” and stressing the inappropriateness of employing a religious descriptor in what was intended to be an aid in apprehending the suspect.

Zalaznick promised to maintain a higher level of sensitivity in the Vail Daily in regards to the use of ethnic descriptions.

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