02 September 2015

That Sheriff and DA Who Blamed Black Lives Matter for the Shooting of a Deputy? Turns out That They Were Lying through Their Asses Off

Will Bunch adds his own perspective on this based on his own experience jumping to conclusions, though I think that he is being to kind.

Bunch jumped to conclusions, but these guys clearly seized an opportunity to push a political agenda:
One of the easiest things in this world is to leap to a conclusion -- especially when there's some circumstantial evidence that fits what you're looking for. It's also a very bad thing to do. I know because I've done it myself -- and I regret it to this day. Six years ago, a part-time census worker in rural Appalachia was found strung from a tree with the word "Fed" scrawled on his body. Although I was careful to note that the case was still under investigation, I wrote about the man's death in the context of right-wing anti-government chatter during the first year of the Obama administration. I was writing a book about the Tea Party at the time and had just gotten back from a gun rally in Kentucky (true story). Anyway, it turned out the man had staged his suicide so his beneficiary could collect the insurance. I'd made a mistake...and also learned a lesson.

You'd think if anyone would know better than a lowly journalist/blogger not to leap to conclusions -- especially on little or no evidence -- it would be high-ranking law enforcement officials in a major American city.


Those are the facts of a sad and infuriating story. But top officials in Harris County -- including the sheriff and the district attorney -- went well beyond the facts of the case. Deputy Goforth had barely been transported to the morgue when these law-enforcement officials held a nationally televised news conference to blame the murder on the #BlackLivesMatter movement that's been confronting America's uniquely high rate of police-involving killings. They did so even as they also acknowledged they had absolutely no information -- none, nada -- about what the killer's actual motive was


If Anderson or Hickman had uttered such baseless accusations in court, their words would have been tossed out by the judge and perhaps the basis for misconduct charges. Instead, the invented allegation was barely questioned by a feckless mainstream news media, then amplified by the right-wing echo chamber of faux news and political opportunists who seized on a chance to squelch a growing movement for social justice by linking it to a high-profile murder. It's fair to note that officials in Harris County were emotional about the murder of a colleague -- but where was the professionalism to know not to toss a match onto a political bonfire, with such rank speculation?
This behavior is contemptible, but it is also not unexpected, though it was egregious enough that the Houston Chronicle, a paper that could never be mistaken for the liberal media, also excoriated this behavior, particularly on the part of the Sheriff (paid subscription required, but you can also find it in the Google cache) noting that, "Linking a non-violent group with a cold-blooded murder, without proof, isn't leadership."

In the meantime, Fox News is gleefully using this as an excuse to use euphemisms for  n****r, which I'm sure amuses their audience no end.


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