I don’t believe it. Literally.

Based on the media’s abysmal record on reporting these incidents, I preemptively think everything about this story about a guy here in Florida who was shot by the cops is a lie. I don’t mean the police are lying; I mean all the details about the victim are lies until proven true. (This is always a good policy with the hooligans at the Tampa Bay Times, by the way, but I’m not just picking on them in this case.)

To be specific, I don’t believe victim Corey Jones was:

  • A “well-known area musician”;
  • That he was “driving home after his band played a Saturday-night gig”;
  • That he called relatives for help or was waiting for a tow truck to arrive;
  • That he was, to quote his family, “a God-fearing man who dedicated his life to doing the right thing”;
  • Or that the shooting was “the 787th fatal police shooting of the year by an on-duty police officer.”

I will consider all of this to be mere speculation until I see it confirmed by multiple reports from independent parties. I will also preemptively disbelieve any and all exculpatory evidence or positive information offered by the man’s family or their attorneys — and the fact that they’ve hired walking crapsack media hound Benjamin Crump to represent them does not help their credibility, in my mind. Geez, at least the late, great Johnnie Cochran was an actual working lawyer with a respectable legal record. I’ll bet you $100 Benjamin Crump could not tell you the difference between William Blackstone and Henry Campbell Black if you asked him off the cuff, or even give you a concise summary, of, say, Plessy v. Ferguson without having to Google it first.

I would add that I don’t believe the gun he was apparently carrying was legally purchased, but evidently the police have confirmed that, so I’ll accept it as true.

You might think my skepticism here is ridiculous, and normally I’d agree. But all I have to say is: Look at the record. Almost every single high-profile killing of a black man the media has harped on the past few years has turned out to be radically different, once all the facts were made public, than it was originally reported in the press.

Travyon Martin and George Zimmerman, as portrayed by The New York Times.
Travyon Martin and George Zimmerman, as portrayed by The New York Times.

Take, for example, the Trayvon Martin case, where we initially heard that Trayvon Martin was an angel-faced young boy hurrying back from the store with a pack of Skittles when he was plugged by an overzealous white Neighborhood Watch Rambo named George Zimmerman.

I don’t know about you, but when I read the first accounts of the case, the image they painted in my head was of a tiny young black kid minding his own business when he was suddenly gunned down without warning by a paranoid old white guy, probably shouting “you kids get off of my lawn!” Just the name “Zimmerman” conjured up images of one of Florida’s millions of retired old farts from up North. Thanks to deceptive editing and shoddy reporting, a lot of people still believe Zimmerman went after Martin because he “looked black,” even after a dispatcher supposedly “ordered him” to stay in his car and not follow the teen.

None of this was true. As it turned out, Martin was not an angel-faced kid but a strapping, six-foot-tall young man who was beating the crap out of Zimmerman when Zimmerman shot him in self-defense. As for Zimmerman, it turns out he was not a bitter, retired white man but a mixed-race young Hispanic man. (As Instapundit is fond of noting, Zimmerman has enough black ancestry that he’d officially be considered a black man under segregation.) When this embarrassing (for the media) detail became public, news outlets immediately dreamed up the howler “white Hispanic” to describe him.

Then there’s the Michael Brown case. When the original news reports popped up, they all heavily emphasized his youth and the “fact” that he was supposed to have been running away with his hands up when he was shot to death. Again, I had an image in my head of a scrawny little black kid running in terror away from a steely-eyed police officer who coolly gunned him down, probably while wearing mirrored aviator sunglasses.

Maybe he was just building a clock?
Maybe he was just building a clock?

Then somebody leaked the surveillance tape at left, showing that Brown was not some little frightened kid, but a gigantic guy who clearly liked throwing his weight around. Subsequent reports revealed he had a history of petty crime.

A grand jury declined to indict the officer who shot him, and a DOJ report made it clear that Brown was shot in the front after attacking the officer in his patrol car. This was so incredibly stupid (on Brown’s part) that some people initially couldn’t believe it, but all of the available evidence backed up the officer’s account.

CharlestonShooting-szThis isn’t to say that apparently unjustified killings of black men never happen. The shooting at right, from this incident, looks impossible to justify even if you adopt the most favorable possible interpretation for the officer. Eric Garner’s death also seems a little questionable to me. But the pattern of media reporting on these cases has generally been pretty awful. If their record was this bad on any other issue, you’d approach any of their future reporting with a gigantic dose of skepticism, as I do.

The media has done a terrible job on this, and unsurprisingly, it’s led to a surge in violent attacks on police, such as this one. (The officer killed in that shooting was a black man, by the way. Do all #BlackLivesMatter?) I mean, try to think about this shoddy reporting from the standpoint of a criminal: If you’re constantly seeing sensational reports about evil cops cold-bloodedly gunning down average citizens for no reason at all other than the color of their skin, then when a police officer confronts you on the street, what are you going to do? Are you going to be inclined to peacefully cooperate? Or if you believe the officer is likely to shoot you no matter what, are you going to be tempted to roll the dice on a violent confrontation?

So excuse me if this time, I don’t immediately buy the narrative being peddled here.

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