UPDATE: According to St. Louis police, at least one shot was fired from the police vehicle. Read more about the lead up here. Although, I’d advise against it. There’s a ton of Black shaming and lies.
Did you read this headline? Did you get the gist of the situation from those 7 words? Are you now realizing the power of language when it comes reporting the news?
Well, mega news outlets dropped the ball tremendously when reporting about Michael Brown.
On Saturday, Mike Brown was shot 8 to 10 times by St. Louis area police. The details are murky, but eyewitnesses say that Brown had his arms up while he was shot. There are rumors that he was caught shoplifting, but the local store in question did not call police. In a press conference, St. Louis police say that there was a scuffle and Brown reached for the police officer’s gun. However, that’s highly unlikely given eyewitness accounts and overall lack of plausibility.
Outlets like Associated Press, AOL, and ABC misreported the murder and contributed to the journalistic arm of Black shaming.
It started with AP, who said nonviolent protestors shouted “Kill the police” In fact, they were chanting the well known slogan “No Justice, No Peace.” Without bothering to check the facts, ABC and AOL took the bait.
Twitter was quick to highlight the misreporting.
Frustrations then turned to mega outlets attention to a nonviolent crowd of protestors, and not the policeman who shot and killed Mike Brown after firing multiple shots at him.
And since the media was so focused on the reactions versus the murder, Twitter then highlighted the response of local law enforcement. Ferguson, the town where the murder took place, was quickly militarized to quell potential retaliation.
There were dogs.
And heavy artillery.
But there wasn’t action when it was most needed. The teenager who was to start college on Monday, laid dead in the street for over four hours. There were onlookers. Police blamed “angry mobs” and such. #BlackShaming.