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Monday, September 26, 2016

Media Try to Make Charlotte Shooting Fit National Narrative

Violence again erupted overnight in Charlotte, North Carolina, following a police shooting that left an armed black man dead.

But the national media is largely ignoring – or burying – a key fact about the case in order to fit Charlotte into a larger “trend” of racially charged cop shootings nationwide: the police officer involved in the Charlotte shooting was black.

The New York Times, for example, devotes hundreds of words to Keith L. Scott’s death, describing, in great detail, Scott’s encounter with police, the demeanor of strangers at his memorial, a Charlotte crime scene from Wednesday night’s riots, and what the Times luridly calls “a grim snapshot of America’s continuing crisis in black and blue” before mentioning briefly that the Charlotte police officer who killed Scott was also black.

And even that is a recent addition – late Wednesday night, the lengthy New York Times story made no mention of the officer’s race.

In the Washington Post, the revelation doesn’t come until almost the tenth paragraph, in a throwaway comment that also mentions that the cop, Brentley Vinson, is on administrative leave. Before then, the Post waxes poetic about North Carolina’s (alleged) history of racism, its voter identification laws, and even its recent “bathroom law” — which has nothing to do with cops or race.

The Associated Press account leaves a bare mention of the “black officer” until almost the very end, quoting the Charlotte police chief at a press conference. CBS News also quoted the press conference, but left out the detail about Vinson’s raceuntil after the news outlet accused Charlotte of staging the Q&A in a desperate attempt to “change the narrative” surrounding the shooting.

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