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Cops and the media

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
A fellow officer was involved in a shooting last night during a robbery. 1 bad guy dead and the other 2 who were involved are in custody. It happened around 945pm last night and I was called to the scene (swat activation) for crowd control at about 1 am.

I get home this morning around 930 and start checking online for the stories put out by the two news agencies who were present. I was appalled by how careless the local fox news channel quoted the deceased family members, who were not there when it happened, as witnesses.
so first, i'll give you what REALLY happened as the full details won't be published until the SBI investigation is complete, and then i'll post the two different news outlet versions.

How it went down: ***this is unofficial, i'm telling it like it was told to me from neighbors who watched the whole thing go down mixed in with a little bit of factual basis from the call notes***
female victim calls 911 and says that there are at least 2 people inside her house and one has a gun to her boyfriends head. two officers just happen to be very close by and arrive as the robbery is concluding. the robbers have no idea that the cops are outside as they exit. cops challenge robbers as they're coming down the steps into the yard and one of the robbers has a shotgun. one of the officers keys up his radio and you hear, "drop the gun! drop the gun! drop the gun! [two gunshots]" the next bit of radio traffic is the officer requesting emergency medical assistance for the downed robber and that the second suspect had just fled on foot. the second suspect fired two shots at the officers as he fled. he was later apprehended about 5 blocks away. a third suspect has been identified and warrants are out for his arrest.
neighbors told me that the shooting victim raised the shotgun toward the officers just before he was shot.

now, onto the local politics. the victim (officially unidentified but i know him VERY well so i'm sure who it is) is a local headache for me in the projects. (the robbery occurred several miles from the projects in a lower middle class residential neighborhood). i have chased him and fought him on numerous occassions but we always had a mutual respect for each other as pawns in the law and order game. so his family shows up at the scene and starts a mini-riot, hence the reason i was called in on my day off at 1am. mamma is out preaching to us about what a good boy her son is and how the PD is going to give her a nice christmas after the lawsuit if finished :rolleyes: she's not the least bit emotional about her dead son and keeps cursing us and saying that our christmas bonuses are going to her family. a few fights between onlookers break out but other than that, nothing much happens and they all leave by about 430 am.

so here's why i'm so pissed. i pull up the local fox news site to find that the reporter only interviewed the dead robber's mom and she says that we chased him and shot him 5 times in the back (remember, mom doesn't even know for sure that it's her son who is dead, let alone the circumstances surrounding it.)
here's the fox version that was published today:
**edit: the original story i read this morning has been updated with some of the facts so it doesn't sound as bad now but the original story only had the interview with "eyewitness" mamma saying "those cops chased my boy and shot him in the back" she was at her house several miles away when it happened :rolleyes: **

http://www.myfoxwghp.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail?contentId=7389310&version=11&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=1.1.1

Officers responded to Clover Dr. around 9:45 p.m. Monday, where they saw a man armed with a shotgun come out of a home. Police said the man threatened officers before they shot and killed him.

High Point Police Chief Jim Fealy disputed reports from witnesses [mamma] that officers shot the suspect in the back.

now an example of a factual news article that doesn't put the spin on it.

http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2008/sep/09/high-point-police-kill-armed-robbery-suspect/news-local/
Police said officers were responding to an armed robbery report when they confronted the two suspects, one of whom was armed with a gun. Police said the suspect did not comply with orders from the officers and "engaged in behavior that threatened the officers' safety." Police did not say what that behavior was.
The officers then fatally shot the suspect. Police have not released any information about the suspect, including the name or gender of the suspect.
The State Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the shooting.

so now you non-law enforcement folks can see, from the beginning, what it's like for any officer who has to take a lawful lethal force action. it's tough enough dealing with having to take a life but then having to hear the irresponsible BS put out by the media doesn't make it easier.
 
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manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
yeah, the problem is that the first news report has the hint of "dirty cops execute innocent man" but they never follow up with the truth after the investigation that should have a tagline of, "police save a life by taking out armed robber". :rolleyes:

and they wonder why a lot of cops have the "us against them" attitude
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
6,196
2,407
Don't sweat it. The families/friends already hate you and your average citizen doesn't give a **** about dead criminals.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
don't worry, it's not that i sweat it or anything, i'm just trying to bring to light the difference in media version vs. actual version so that the average joe will hopefully not jump to conclusions as is common in use of force debates.
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
17
TN
don't worry, it's not that i sweat it or anything, i'm just trying to bring to light the difference in media version vs. actual version so that the average joe will hopefully not jump to conclusions as is common in use of force debates.
Well, (I like you a lot so don't take this the wrong way) if most cops weren't assholes, people wouldn't be so apt to automatically assume the worst. You know, Im not a villain... out there causing crimes, vandalizing and raping or anything...I pay taxes and follow the rules, but cops are always still assholes 95% of the time Im in contact with one. So f*** 'em. Wont be getting my pity.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,638
4
SF, CA
It depends on the day whether I respect cops or the mainstream media less.

However, manimal, I feel your frustration and I hope that eventually this case is properly reported.
 

ridetoofast

scarred, broken and drunk
Mar 31, 2002
2,093
0
crashing at a trail near you...
unfortunately a huge majority of my experiences with law enforcement have been negative also, however, a relative of mine was an MP, so i frequently heard his side of the story too, only with the additional bs the military adds to it.
its cool that you were a first hand witness so you can provide the truth about what happened.
i guess i'm a soulless bastard because i really don't think i'd give 2 ****s about offing a thug.
it also is no surprise the media didn't redact their story...like they do it on any other occasion.
thanks for the perspective.
every time i read your posts i wonder why you even do it (the job that is)
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
unfortunately a huge majority of my experiences with law enforcement have been negative also, however, a relative of mine was an MP, so i frequently heard his side of the story too, only with the additional bs the military adds to it.
its cool that you were a first hand witness so you can provide the truth about what happened.
i guess i'm a soulless bastard because i really don't think i'd give 2 ****s about offing a thug.
it also is no surprise the media didn't redact their story...like they do it on any other occasion.
thanks for the perspective.
every time i read your posts i wonder why you even do it (the job that is)
just to clarify, i wasn't there, i was called out at 1am this morning to assist w/ the crowd control.

in regards to your last sentence....i do it 'cause it's fun as hell most of the time. like a grown up game of tag with consequences. every once in a while though, it gets deadly serious. but i suppose that if someone has to be out there to make those life and death decisions/actions, it might as well be me. i mean heck....can you imagine if silver had to do it ;) :D
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,714
3,729
Portland, OR
It's like when the Daily Show compares headlines from CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. Same story, entirely different takes. It's only funny when it's not me, though.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,411
0
SF
As an astute crime story observer, I guessed many of the details of your complaint after reading the first paragraph.

I know local media wants a good story asap, and hearing from the police spokesman back at HQ is not going to get it from them. So they interview bystanders and relatives, who are going to either be enraged or crying. I am sure the producers have a formula about these kinds of stories.

I also know that no relative is going to say, "It was my fault that my son/nephew/uncle/cousin was running around committing crimes, doing drugs, and hurting people". So they lash out at cops who are doing their jobs.

It is a tough situation, but I am glad you are doing something to help all of us.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
So basically your story is as good as the news :bonk:
i guess you missed the part where i said i spoke with the robbery victim and neighbors in addition to adding parts from the CAD call notes. the difference: i spoke with actual witnesses, the news claimed mamma was an eyewitness.


and mmike...i did catch him but the court system didn't seem to think that his previous strongarmed robbery, sell/deliver heroine, assualt inflicting serious injury and numerous trespass charges were enough to do more than give him a slap on the wrist :rolleyes:
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
Its still one person's story against another so your non-firsthand account isn't any more valid.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,638
4
SF, CA
Its still one person's story against another so your non-firsthand account isn't any more valid.
God I hate this argument. Yes it is one person's story against another, but it is ridiculous to pretend that one person can't hold a more valid version than another.
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
Its still one person's story against another so your non-firsthand account isn't any more valid.
isn't the avg gunfight over almost as soon as it starts?

(of course, i'm responding to your post before you changed it to address duration of witnesses present during the event)
 

syadasti

i heart mac
Apr 15, 2002
12,701
290
VT
God I hate this argument. Yes it is one person's story against another, but it is ridiculous to pretend that one person can't hold a more valid version than another.
Its not his job as crowd control so an account gathered here or there doesn't show the whole picture.
 
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manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
Its not his job as crowd control so an account gathered here or there doesn't show the whole picture.
so how is direct statement from eyewitness/victim who was standing on the porch when it happened AND congruent statement from neighbor who was also outside watching the commotion AND statements from the SBI's crime scene techs AND the little evidence markers on the ground showing that the shooting occurred at a distance of about 10 feet when mamma said we chased him and shot him in the back from 50 yards not more of the "whole picture" than mamma's statement to the news that she received from a friend of a friend of a friend?

my point of this thread is this: anytime an officer has to shoot someone in the line of duty the media will usually print an immediate story questioning the legality of the shooting which plants the seed of doubt and mistrust in the public mind. yet when the investigation is complete and shows that the officer did the right thing, no one ever revisits the issue and the public assumes that the thin blue line must have pulled some strings because the first news report said that it was a bad shooting.
 

RenegadeRick

98th percentile on my SAT & all I got was this tin
...yet when the investigation is complete and shows that the officer did the right thing, no one ever revisits the issue and the public assumes that the thin blue line must have pulled some strings because the first news report said that it was a bad shooting.
can you tell us more about the last time at your department when the review board decided that the officer did a bad shooting?
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
considering we've only had 4 in 5 years and they have all had multiple witnesses and/or shots fired from the suspect at the officer (all forensically proveable)....none. however, my department does not do the investigation, the State Bureau of Investigation performs the investigation of any officer involved shooting in order to eliminate the possibility of corruption from within.
 

Secret Squirrel

There is no Justice!
Dec 21, 2004
8,153
0
Up sh*t creek, without a paddle
considering we've only had 4 in 5 years and they have all had multiple witnesses and/or shots fired from the suspect at the officer (all forensically proveable)....none. however, my department does not do the investigation, the State Bureau of Investigation performs the investigation of any officer involved shooting in order to eliminate the possibility of corruption from within.
Ahhhh... the Blue Wall of Silence....I knew it!!!


;)
 

MMike

A fowl peckerwood.
Sep 5, 2001
18,222
86
just sittin' here drinkin' scotch
and mmike...i did catch him but the court system didn't seem to think that his previous strongarmed robbery, sell/deliver heroine, assualt inflicting serious injury and numerous trespass charges were enough to do more than give him a slap on the wrist :rolleyes:
Didn't you sit him down with some marshmallows and ginger ale and tell him that he should be nicer from now on? This is page 1 stuff here....
 

ire

Turbo Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
6,199
4
The news has to sensationalize everything....unfortunate but true. Stories about cops beating up on poor innocent people accomplishes this goal. There was a cop up here that shot an Irish national and killed him, they had lots of quotes from the family members (who came here after the shooting)....it never really explained what happened and how the cop justified the shooting. Then the cop was pinched for molesting a girl, which sure as hell didn't help