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Friday, August 7, 2015


This "commentary" headline is featured today in the local newspaper. It may be a strong example of why the value of the Charlotte Observer and publisher have tanked.  And check out the "highlights" list, too.

For the newspaper to allow this race-baiting, pandering column of biased accusations to run is entirely irresponsible, in the opinion of Citynewswatch editorial staff.  


AUGUST 6, 2015

Commentary: Jonathan Ferrell faced three officers; only the white one used deadly force

Video in Jonathan Ferrell case is inconclusive
Two black officers joined Wes Kerrick on scene
No coincidence the white officer was one to use deadly force

Please read that 'highlight' again:
"No coincidence the white officer was one to use deadly force"

Frazier goes on to explain how white people will view a video of a tragic night and how black people will view it.  Frazier quotes about a "big bad black man," but isn't quoting anyone.  

Frazier continues:
I have always suspected that Kerrick’s biggest hurdle at trial wouldn’t necessarily be the video, but the actions of the two police officers who joined him that night.
The standard at issue in this trial is whether a reasonable officer, confronted with the same circumstances, would take the same action Kerrick did.
Usually, that other “reasonable officer” is a hypothetical. Here, there are two other real officers.
And they are both African-American.
One, Officer Adam Neal, didn’t pull any weapon. He testified that he expected a violent confrontation, but figured on subduing Ferrell by fighting him.

Beginning with "I have always suspected hat Kerrick's biggest hurdle at trial wouldn't necessarily be the video..." Frazier exposes he already decided what happened and he makes no logical argument or explanation for arriving there.  He believes the video is a problem for the officer and not for the prosecution.

  One valid point
The only point worth examining here is that Officer Adam Neal testified (and who knows if this is an accurate description of his thoughts at the time?) that he "figured on subduing Ferrell by fighting him."  
It seems too many officers, whether out of fear or malice or lack of experience or training, are too quick to pull deadly weapons instead of learning to avoid many situations or to use their bodies and voices to control some situations, when the option exists.  SOMETIMES it's possible to hang back and talk with someone you are responding to, rather than immediately deciding to use force and try to force compliance.  Some situations would turn deadly fast for officers if they don't have weapons out and ready.  Please don't bother to write to say you worry for officers being killed in the line of duty, with other weapons or their own.  That concern is a fact.  The issue is that for other situations, there's possibly lack of training, poor training, poor preparation to gain experience on the street and in other venues before being released onto patrol, or other causes.  And there are times officers would die if they didn't react fast enough.

But not a valid reaction
If a "journalist" decides that the police department is full of racists who will choose to shoot black men, or decides the police department is hiring people not suited for police work, then investigate and report on that.

Frazier says there were two other officers who acted differently in the same position.  But they were NOT in the same position as Kerrick, who had a man suddenly jump in his direction running at him, for whatever reasons are currently unknown to the general public and may be unknown to anyone but Ferrell.  

Frazier race-baiting
And there is no evidence that Kerrick had any animosity toward black people or wanted to harm Ferrell, despite the terrible outcome.  Why does this newspaper continue to try to cause feelings of racial hate and blame in a case when that is not remotely apparent as causation?  Why not look at police training, training the public on what to do when confronted by police (ie, not charge at them) and work on community relations in the first place?  The only attention paid by many in local media is to stir up racial issues because there is no other story they bother to pursue. It's lazy. It's dangerous. It's inexcusable.  

Read more here:

We can hope the full truth about this incident comes out by the end of the trial, but to make up an accusation of racism on the part of one officer and pump it out for headlines that will attract a bunch of people to "comment"-fight is a pathetic way to operate, personally or professionally.

Please stop taking the lowest, easiest road possible and do some journalism.