In Tuesday’s Los Angeles Times story on LAPD’s annual report on police use of deadly force, the Times once again accuses the local lawmen of shooting a “disproportionate” number of black Angelinos.
“Eight of the 38 people — or 21% — struck by LAPD gunfire in 2015 were black. African Americans make up about 9% of the city’s population,” the Times instructs it readers. “How can departments heal strained relationships with black residents when police shootings of African Americans remain disproportionately high?” the Times asks.
One approach the Times seems to be suggesting is that police should allow black suspects in hot encounters to do whatever they wish to officers. There is no mention in the story that black Angelinos commit crimes at a much higher rate than any other racial group. Or that black Angelinos are more often victims of crimes than other groups. This is vital data readers need. But then if they had it, the word “disproportionate” would be out the window.
Another group journalists are alarmed about is the mentally ill. Controversy, at least in the L.A. Times newsroom, surrounds a case where an officer shot a homeless man who had attempted to take an officer’s gun away from him. Again, it appears from the tone of the story that the journalist would have preferred the homeless man be allowed take the officer’s gun and do whatever he wished with it.
So far neither the L.A. Times editorial board nor the Obama Justice Department has called for LAPD to find more sane white people to shoot.
When will the understanding that threatening the lives of police officers is not a safe hobby reach America’s newsrooms? How is it so hard for J-School graduates to understand that police officers have as much right to return home alive at the end of their shifts as anyone in any other occupation? What we have in this case is yet another example of disproportionate journalism.
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