Angry crowds took to the streets in Milwaukee on Saturday night to protest the shooting death of an armed man by a police officer hours earlier.
Protesters burned several stores and threw rocks at police in the city’s north side, leaving one officer injured. Smoke and orange flames filled the night sky. The incident started Saturday afternoon when two officers stopped two people who were in a car in the north side, according to the Milwaukee Police Department.
Shortly after, both car occupants fled on foot as officers pursued them, police said. During the chase, an officer shot one of the two — a 23-year-old man who was armed with a handgun, according to authorities. “He (officer) ordered that individual to drop his gun, the individual did not drop his gun,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “He had the gun with him and the officer fired several times.”
The man died at the scene. It’s unclear whether the second occupant of the car is in police custody.
First Observation: The dead man, the armed suspect, the man whose death was the spark for the violence, was African-American. CNN’s report doesn’t mention that at all! Why? Is the information unimportant? In fact, it is the most important feature of the incident. It pains me to say it, but riots don’t happen when white citizens are shot by police, whether the victim was armed or not. CNN’s coverage is political correctness and cowardice, not journalism. A critical fact was omitted because it is unwelcome, not because it is superfluous.
This is news manipulation and misrepresentation by omission. This is unethical journalism.
“This is CNN.”
A standoff between police and an angry crowd turned violent Saturday night in the hours after a Milwaukee police officer shot and killed an armed suspect during a foot chase on the city’s north side.
After an hours-long confrontation with officers, police reported at 10:15 p.m. that a gas station at N. Sherman Blvd. and W. Burleigh St. was set on fire. Police said firefighters could not for a time get close to the blaze because of gunshots. Later, fires were started at businesses — including a BMO Harris Bank branch, a beauty supply company and O’Reilly Auto Parts stores…
..At one point, the officers got in their cars to leave and some in the crowd started smashing the windows and side of a squad car. Another vehicle was set on fire. As officers returned to the scene, this time with more in riot gear, as many as seven shots could be heard about 8:45 to 9 p.m.
The shots appeared to be fired in the air by someone in the crowd…Soon thereafter, the crowd turned on and chased reporters and a photographer from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. One reporter was shoved to the ground and punched.Police later tweeted that an officer was hit in the head with a brick that was thrown through a squad window. Police said the officer was being treated at a hospital. At nearly 11 p.m., police tweeted that gunshots again were fired near N. 44th St. and W. Auer Ave.
Observation: Not that CNN is alone in this unconscionable aversion to telling the public what happened: this article too omits the fact that the “armed suspect” was black, except that in a later included quote from Milwaukee’s Democrat mayor, he alludes to it. How can such flagrant and deliberate burying of the lede be defended? Anyone? Are we assumed to know that when an armed suspect resists arrest, he must have been black? No, that wouldn’t be right. Does anyone who hasn’t been hibernating not know that “police-involved shootings” of black suspects have far different consequences and political implications in 2016 than when white suspects are shot? No, so the news media can’t argue that race is superfluous.
The report also omits the—I’d say it’s relevant, no?— fact that the rioters were also 100% African American.
I guess that looks bad, and gives ammunition to bigots. Gee, we can’t allow that. Responsible journalism requires that we hide that fact. Everyone will figure it out anyway, right? But at least we won’t be accused of being racist…
Is this really how journalists reason today?
It appears so.
This occurred late last night, so I will try to avoid getting ahead of the story while it is still developing, but here are some additional, and likely to be expanded upon,
1. So now, apparently, it is no longer only the deaths of unarmed black suspects being shot by police that are deemed worthy of rioting by African American mobs, but the deaths of armed suspects too. What does this suggest and portend? Let’s see: In Ferguson, a viral lie that a young African American was shot and killed by a police officer while surrendering with his “hands up” causes riots. In Baltimore, unsubstantiated black activist claims that police deliberately killed a habitual petty criminal who was African American and who had been disarmed causes riots. Now in Milwaukee, the shooting of an armed African American who refused to drop his gun provokes rioting. The message this suggests is that segments of the African American community regard any police action resulting in violence to be inherently unjust and racist if it involves blacks.
It portends a complete breakdown in respect for law enforcement in the black community, and escalating violence enabled by cynical politicians and race-bullied media.
2. That is exactly the message that the Black Lives Matter movement—endorsed by Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee—has been promulgating for months. This is the poisonous fruit of that effort, and those who have fertilized the ground with their approval must be held accountable.
3. Forgive me as I resort for a moment into pure sarcasm, for it is the best way I know to express my contempt:
“Nah, this doesn’t cause police officers to eschew pro-active law enforcement! There is no ‘Ferguson Effect’! Why would the fact that defending yourself against an armed perp who is black risks riots and death cause police to avoid confrontations with criminals? The rise in murders across the country is completely unrelated to the intimidation and demonizing of police by black activists!”
4. From the Journal Sentinel story:
“Nefataria Gordon said she knew the man who had been killed by the officer. “He was a nice, good person. He was really respected. That’s why everyone came out. They’re angry.”
The nice man had a long criminal record, and was carrying a handgun taken in a March burglary. The owner of the stolen gun reported that 500 rounds of ammunition also were stolen.
When characters like this are “really respected” in a community, that community has a serious, dangerous, ethics problem. I hope that’s not too harsh. Gee, I wonder why so many kids from such a community grow up to be criminals too? I’m sorry, that’s more sarcasm. Once you start, it’s hard to stop.
5. A news conference regarding the riots ended with Aldermen Russell W. Stamper II and Khalif Rainey delivering statements blaming the riots on the frustrations of black Milwaukeeans. Rainey, who represents the area where the man was shot and the riots occurred, ended his remarks with an implied threat of more riots. He said in part,
“This entire community has sat back and witnessed how Milwaukee, Wis., has become the worst place to live for African-Americans in the entire country.”
I wonder if any fact-checker will dare to check that.
“Now this is a warning cry…”
No, this is riot based on a criminal with a gun being shot by police. The statement is a deflection of responsibility.
“Do we continue – continue with the inequities, the injustice, the unemployment, the under-education, that creates these byproducts that we see this evening? … The black people of Milwaukee are tired. They’re tired of living under this oppression. This is their existence. This is their life. This is the life of their children.”
And the rational response is to burn down businesses in the community, is that the point? When a community’s leadership rationalizes and justifies violence and destruction for any reason, but especially after an event like this, the credibility of the laments of such leadership is forfeited.
“Now what has happened tonight may have not been right…”
May not have been right?
“…I’m not justifying that.”
You just did!
“But no one can deny the fact that there’s problems, racial problems, here in Milwaukee, Wis., that have to be closely, not examined, but rectified. Rectify this immediately. Because if you don’t, this vision of downtown, all of that, you’re one day away. You’re one day away.”
OK, we’ll rectify the entire race problems of the community, the region and the nation over night. After all, nobody’s been paying any attention to this issue before. Thanks for the fair deadline. And don’t worry, you have no accountability or responsibility in the matter.
6. Fortunately, we have a black President who will immediately, any minute now, make an urgent address to the nation and the African-American community, emphatically supporting police, insisting that they must be allowed to enforce the law without fear of reprisals sparked by irresponsible activists, condemning the riots and rioters, and using his superb communications skills to unite the races and the nation rather than dividing them.
Oh, I forgot.
He’s playing golf today.
(He does have time for this, though.)
7. THIS story gets the “This Will Help Elect Donald Trump” label. Few have deserved it more.