In response to a story Baltimore news station Fox45 ran Sunday, activist Tawanda Jones appeared on a news broadcast Monday evening to set the record straight and take the station to task for deceptively editing a video to make it appear she said “kill a cop” at a protest. In their original story Sunday, Fox45 aired a piece that framed the national protests against police brutality as being anti-police. In an effort to drive the point home, they showed a YouTube video of Jones leading a protest chant in Washington, D.C.
The reporter for the story claimed that you could clearly hear the protesters chanting “we won’t stop, we can’t stop, so kill a cop.” However, the reality is that the protesters were actually chanting “we won’t stop, we can’t stop, until killer cops are in cell blocks.” When showing the protest video, the station cut it off right after Jones says “cops,” making it appear that she says “kill a cop” instead of “killer cops,” while simultaneously taking away the context.
Below is the edited video in question:
And here is the actual footage from C-SPAN showing the protesters’ full chants.
The following day, after news of their deliberate misinterpretation went national, and Jones responded herself via Facebook, the station posted the following message to its Facebook page apologizing for the “error” based on an “honest misunderstanding.”
During the interview, Jones took the station to task for deliberately editing the video to make it seem as if she was calling for people to kill cops. Jones, who has been tirelessly advocating for social justice since her brother was killed by Baltimore police in 2013, pointed out to the interviewer the irresponsibility of their original report. While the interviewer said she and the station both apologize for the error, Jones stated that you “never have a second opportunity to make a first impression.” The activist and school teacher explained that she’s now concerned that there might be a “crazed-out cop or a crazed-out supporter” out there who thinks she wants to kill all cops.
Below is video of the interview, courtesy of Fox45:
While the station should be given some credit for giving Jones the opportunity to set the record straight and allowing her to tell the truth about her activism and feeling towards police in general, they still should be reprimanded for the deliberately misleading story they originally aired. They ran with a false narrative and used deceptively edited footage to make their story stick. Also, it was obvious that the interviewer was not the reporter from the original story. Perhaps it would have been better if Jones were allowed to confront the reporter and ask why the piece was edited and presented a certain way.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).