Who Polices the Police and the Media? No one really, the media and the police work hand in hand to ensure that victims are painted as bad guys especially if the victim is black.
I wrote this blog a few weeks ago about the media and how you should be aware of how the media filters what they want you to see and how they want you to see it. Remember the media has five filters it has to pass through before it gets to you the consumer. Who and what control those filters influences how you will see the world. It is up to us to use our own filters to seek out your own media and try to find media that has not been filtered. We need to find pure media that hasn’t been filtered….also we need more than one source of media.
Some examples to show how both the police and the media will paint the victim as the bad person, how they will both filter what you the public will see to ensure you see the victim as a bad person., especially if the victim is black
No one in any profession is 100% right 100% of the time, but for some strange reason white cops, when confronting blacks, are always right and the media will make sure they are seen as right. The day Brown was shot neither the Chief of police or Wilson knew anything about a robbery. It took Ferguson PD. an entire week to come up with that theory….and the media to make sure Michael Brown was painted as a bad person and Darren Wilson as some sort of white hero….you had to look hard to find the unfiltered media.
Alternet, the Raw Story and The New York Times are good sites to find unfiltered media….but their media still has to pass through the 5 filters of mass media.
Last weekend, a new development emerged in the story of the 2014 killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, whose death sparked unrest across the nation. Previously unreleased footage of Brown inside the convenience store that the police claimed he had robbed before he was confronted by Darren Wilson, the former officer, contradicts the story the police department pushed about Brown’s actions that day.
The original narrative that emerged from many eyewitnesses in the immediate aftermath of Brown’s death, which was later contradicted by others, was that Brown, who was slated to attend college in a few weeks, put up his hands and then Wilson blew holes through him anyway. But Ferguson law enforcement officials quickly pushed back with the “Mike Brown was no angel” narrative, releasing a video that appears to show Mike Brown robbing a local convenient store before Wilson stops him. This shows Brown snatching what appears to be store property and exiting the store; however, the newly released video clearly shows an earlier exchange, not a robbery.
It would be hard to argue that the false narrative put forth by the Ferguson police department did not play a role in the city’s decision to not press charges against Darren Wilson. This same Ferguson police department was investigated by the Department of Justice, which found that 88 percent of the cases when force was used involved an African-American person, as well as a collection of racist department emails that included the infamous claim that President Barack Obama wouldn’t be able to complete his first term, with a Ferguson cop writing, “what black man holds a steady job for four years.” Officer Darren Wilson, Mike Brown’s killer, even said he and other Ferguson officers often used the word n***er to refer to African-Americans.
These people control the narrative, and they use that power to demonize victims of police force in a constant effort to deflect negative attention away from themselves. Six Baltimore police officers were charged for their involvement in Freddie Gray’s spinal cord injury death in 2015, and therefore we knew everything about Freddie Gray’s criminal record before the first officer even took the stand. As if a few petty arrests in a man’s past justify the police chasing him down with no signs of criminal wrongdoing and arresting him. Many members of the public quickly accepted that narrative of “Freddie the Bad Guy” over the fact that he should not have been in the back of the police van in the first place. He shouldn’t have been bothered, and he shouldn’t be dead now.
So many people completely ignore that the decisions those police officers made cost an innocent man his life. And in Baltimore, police officers investigated themselves first, through a system that ended up putting so many restraints on the investigation by the state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, that this all but made it impossible for her to convict them. The witnesses who saw the officers’ interactions with Gray on the street weren’t even allowed to testify.
These specific cases in Baltimore and Ferguson represent larger problems that exist within our justice system. Police officers are almost never held accountable for violence, which erodes our trust in the system. Many African-Americans believe we can’t call the police when we need them because there’s a chance that they might kill us when they show up.
The first clear step to reform is acknowledging the magnitude of the historic problems that exist within our current system rather than offering the same old “cops are heroes” platitudes. While many officers do risk their lives on the job, there are too many who have taken black lives, too.
Great article…….and how many times have the police and the media painted the victim, especially if the victim was black as a bad person…too many, way too many times. Why does the media filter the news one way, why is the media so quick to paint black shooting victims as a bad person, when in reality it’s the white cop that is really the bad person.
Here are some truths that we really never heard about from the corporate mass media.
George Zimmerman is a violent Hispanic with a history of domestic violence and police assault before he profiled, stalked, confronted, started a fight with, lost, then killed the unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman has since been proven to be an extreme racist with numerous negative contacts with the law, but everything was ignored because Zimmerman killed a black person.
New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo had numerous excessive force complaints against him by African Americans, but because Pantaleo killed the black Eric Garner, his past was ignored. All we heard about from the media was about Eric Garner’s past, we were never presented the other side of the story we were never told about Daniel Pantaleo’s past….he was just as flawed as Eric Garner, he was no saint himself and yet we never heard a peep about him from the media…..
Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann was an extremely unqualified, substandard officer deemed untrainable by superiors and was about to be fired before being hired by Cleveland PD., but his past was ignored because he killed the black kid Tamir Rice. Again did the media inform the public about Timothy Loehmann? NO…….
Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, before going to Ferguson PD., worked for the Jennings, MO. Police department that fired every officer due to racism and corruption. But since Wilson killed the black guy Michael Brown, Wilson’s past is ignored.
If a black cop with the background of Zimmerman or any of the white cops I mentioned killed a white for ANY reason, especially a white child playing with a toy gun in the park (in an open carry state), can any of you honestly write that the black cops past would have been ignored?
Thank you for helping to round-out this life of an interesting and interested man.
Spread the word….some truths about Mr. Caughman that wouldn’t make through the 5 filters of corporate media.
Mr. Caughman was a college educated man and an avid reader. The Jamaica, Queens native had worked for a federal antipoverty program, and was responsible for providing thousands of jobs to under privileged youth. He had also spent time as a concert promoter, and had booked Earth, Wind and Fire in their early days.
In his youth, Timothy Caughman trained as a boxer. He was a hard hitter, although his family characterizes him as never being the one to start a fight. He had a great appreciation for civil rights activists, and expressed a great love of America and the freedom to cast his vote.
While Mr. Caughman did live in a building that provided transitional housing to homeless individuals, he was not homeless himself, and was a permanent tenant. The building’s manager discribed Timothy Caughman as an extremely gracious and respectful man.
Caughman was a retiree, but ever the hard worker with an entrepreneurial spirit, he continued to earn money by collecting his community’s recycleables. His modest earnings bettered the local environment and afforded him the enjoyment of collecting and preserving his cherished celebrity autographs and memorabilia.
The life and spirit of Timothy Caughman was senselessly and tragically cut short, by a hate filled white supremacist hell bent on murdering a man for simply being African American.
Will the corporate media make sure you know all of the above about Timothy Caughman? Doubtful you will a hear peep about any of the above from the corporate media…..remember the 5 filters, Timothy Caughman would not make it through the five filters.
More than just race is at work here. Our culture tends to exalt the attacker and blame the victim in many kinds of situations. People do this to make what happened consistent with their world view of who is right and who is wrong based on stereotypes. Medical malpractice victims get judged. A poor person who is a medical injury victim will be judged differently than a rich person of means. The person of financial status will get more sympathy and credibility. The poor person, more people will communicate messages similar to people who think cops are never to be blamed and somehow it is the victim’s fault.
I seriously do not know how the media can regain trust without a complete overhaul.