The Media v. The Police

Noah Burger

Contrary to popular belief, police officers are not murdering black people. In 2015, police shot and killed 90 unarmed individuals – only 36 of whom were “unarmed black males” (Hosko, 2018). The total number of officer-involved shooting deaths in 2015 was 965. Therefore, “unarmed victims” accounted for only 9.3% of officer-involved shooting deaths, while “unarmed black males” accounted for less than 4% of officer-involved shooting deaths (Kindy, Fisher, Tate, and Jenkins, 2015). Considering that blacks make up only 12% of the population, a straw man might assume that black males are disproportionately victimized in officer-involved shootings. On the contrary, the statistics are quite appropriate when considering black males commit nearly 40% of all the murders, manslaughters, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults (Worrall, 2014).

In the criminal justice system, criminal cases are granted basic constitutional protections of due process. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “no one shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” (LII Staff, 2017). So, cases are carried out meticulously, as any infringement upon the rights of an accused individual may result in cases being thrown out entirely. In the federal system, due process is broken down into eleven major categories: Investigation, Charging, Initial Hearing/ Arraignment, Discovery, Plea Bargaining, Preliminary Hearing, Pre-Trial Motions, Trial, Post-Trial Motions, Sentencing, and Appeals (Department of Justice, 2016). The eleven stages of due process give the defendant an opportunity to present evidence or claims in defense of themselves or their actions.

In the case of a police shooting, any officers involved are subjected to due process on the criminal level, and each case is investigated thoroughly. However, in over 90% of these cases, police shootings are justified (Kindy, Fisher, Tate, and Jenkins, 2015). Therefore, most of these investigations will end without any charges being brought against an officer. In the small minority of cases that involve an unarmed victim, the same holds true. The State of Iowa’s deadly force law, which applies to both civilians and police officers, is a grand example of why that conclusion is often reached. Iowa law clearly states that the use of deadly force is to be justified whenever a person has “reason to believe that the deadly force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to one’s life or safety or to the life or safety of another” (State of Iowa, n.d.).

Luckily, on a criminal level, police officers – and civilians alike – are constitutionally protected by due process. Without due process, these true American Heroes would be getting locked up left and right for simply doing what they do every single day – risking their own lives in a heroic devotion to public service. Whether or not someone may feel emotionally inclined to react a certain way to the statistically ultra-rare cases of unjustified officer-involved shootings is irrelevant – in the words of Daily Mail editor Ben Shapiro, “the facts do not care about your feelings”. Sadly, while officers are not wrongfully being convicted in criminal courts, they are indeed being wrongfully convicted in the Media’s court of public opinion.

Some government officials have also decided to get involved in the case, for better or for worse. Some, such as Barack Obama, have supported the Media’s anti-police narrative. Most notably, Obama defended Trayvon Martin, a young man who was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch official in 2012. In this case, the police were not necessarily the main topic of discussion. However, the platform it created was in fact used as a springboard for further false narratives, and anti-police agendas, to grow upon. The Mainstream Media spurred great outrage, informing the public that an innocent unarmed black boy had been murdered in cold blood by an old, racist, white man. However, Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, is in fact Hispanic, not white (Schilling, 2013). In addition, ballistics evidence showed that Martin was in fat on top of George Zimmerman, bashing his skull into the ground, before Zimmerman was luckily able to pull the trigger in self-defense (Benn, 2013). Based on this evidence, George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges. However, the Mainstream Media, in conjunction with the Highest Office of the President of the United States, deliberately spread false narratives to the American People that led to race riots, widespread fear, and hatred of police. In many cases, these false narratives have also led to increased violence against police (Hjelmgaardkim, 2016).

Merriam Webster defines the term ‘propaganda’ as, “the spreading of ideas, information, or rumors [aiming to] injure an institution, cause, or person” (Webster, n.d.). Based on the dictionary definition of propaganda, the Mainstream Media’s War on Police is in fact propaganda. Furthermore, United States Code 2381 clearly states, “that whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies … is guilty of treason and shall suffer death” (LII Staff. N.d). If the Mainstream Media’s alleged allegiance is to be the honest provider of factual information for the American People, then the deliberate spreading of any false narrative propaganda, including an anti-police agenda, is not only an attack on the institutions designed to protect and serve, but an act of high treason against the United States of America, and its People.

Wake Up America, Before We Lose Everything.

References

Benn, E. S. (2013, July 09). Forensic expert says evidence backs George Zimmerman’s story. Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/trayvon-martin/article1953110.html

Department of Justice. (2016, January 15). Steps In The Federal Criminal Process. Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.justice.gov/usao/justice-101/steps-federal-criminal-process

Hjelmgaardkim, K. (2016, November 03). Ambush-style killings of police up 167% this year. Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/11/02/ambush-style-killings-police-up-300/93155124/

Hosko, R. (2018, January 14). Ron Hosko: The truth about fatal shootings by police. Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/ron-hosko-the-truth-about-fatal-shootings-by-police

Kindy, K., Fisher, M., Tate, J., & Jenkins, J. (2015, December 26). A year of reckoning: Police fatally shoot nearly 1,000. Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/12/26/a-year-of-reckoning-police-fatally-shoot-nearly-1000/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.443a4b48887c

LII Staff, C. (n.d.). 18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason. Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2381

LII Staff, C. (2017, June 26). Due Process. Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/due_process?fbclid=IwAR1ZrHz814d8kHbj0QaZLEilv-cRoMF2qZ1vCdE4_dg8hgAPM-OTQEWL-yM

Schilling, D. (2013, July 12). George Zimmerman Isn’t White. Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7be5aa/george-zimmerman-is-not-white

State of Iowa. (n.d.). Chapter 704: Force – Reasonable or Deadly – Defenses. Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/2018/704.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3hUhf8HZh7NSBU1EF5NkDizYnXlXDWOGr8XBCDE36ItKwh2QskOG1dHW8

Webster, M. (n.d.). Propaganda. Retrieved January 19, 2019, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propaganda

Worrall, P. (2014, November 27). FactCheck: Do black Americans commit more crime? Retrieved January 18, 2019, from https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-black-americans-commit-crime?fbclid=IwAR1enhgDemijiPVOz2M5Gcj-sBj6D7Czpa9K0wV1r0uYhQuegMq1OgBHvRA

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