Baltimore news station Fox45 ran a story Sunday night attacking protests against police brutality and racial disparity by running deceptively edited footage to suggest protesters were chanting “kill a cop” during a demonstration. On Monday, Gawker looked into the tape and found that the station had cut off a chant and misinterpreted the words to make it seem to the viewers like a protest leader was saying those words during a protest gathering in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. Actually, C-SPAN had captured footage of the protesters chanting a much different phrase.
Below is footage from Fox45 showing a YouTube video of Tawanda Jones, a Baltimore resident, leading a protest chant in Washington. Notice how the station cuts off the chant right when it ‘appears’ Jones had said “kill a cop.”
This was part of a story where the news station was framing the murder of two NYPD officers on Saturday within the context of the nationwide protests against police brutality against people of color. The demonstrations have been ongoing for months but really grew after two separate grand juries decided not to indict the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Immediately after Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed by Ismaaiyl Brinsley Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn, a narrative from the right has developed blaming the protesters and their supporters for the deaths.
Gawker provided video of the C-SPAN coverage of the same protest that Fox45 used for its story. Instead of saying “kill a cop,” the protesters, led by Jones, can clearly be heard shouting the following chant:
We can’t stop!
We won’t stop!
until killer cops are in cell blocks!
Below is video from C-SPAN. Hilariously, it was posted to YouTube by someone who thought Al Sharpton was leading a “Go Kill A Cop” march.
After Fox45 had run its story Sunday night, Tawanda Jones reacted on Facebook, pointing out that the station had misinterpreted her words. She urged friends and anyone else seeing the post to call Fox45 to complain and ask that they retract the story. Jones is well-known in the Baltimore area due to her brother, Tyrone West, being killed by Baltimore police last year while in police custody. Charges were not filed against any of the officers present at the time of his death. She’s been staging rallies since then calling for justice for her slain brother.
The senseless murder of two police officers is now being used by certain media groups, police unions and conservative pundits as an opportunity to shame and silence the protesters who are looking to affect real and positive change in our society. Prominent members of law enforcement have taken this opportunity to ratchet up the rhetoric and toss blame at not only the protesters, but any left-leaning politician that may have expressed even the tiniest bit of support for the protesters.
New York police union head Pat Lynch said New York Mayor Bill De Blasio had blood on his hands over the deaths, implying that DeBlasio’s statement about the Eric Garner decision and his reference to his own biracial son put police officers in danger and led directly to the murders of two of them. Meanwhile, the Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore released a statement over the weekend blaming President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and De Blasio were to blame for the deaths. The union also said “unequivocal support of law enforcement is required to preserve our nation,” essentially calling for a fascistic police state.