Opinion / Politics

National Media Must Show Balanced Coverage of Law Enforcement

mediaDue to the relentless and repeated videos of a select few tragic police arrests and shootings over the past year – cherry-picked from among millions of peaceful encounters by police officers with citizens of all races and ethnic groups – the national media has helped engender in some a spirit of violent and now murderous hatred against the men and women in blue, who risk their lives each day protecting our persons and property. FBI statistics show five officers were killed last year in unprovoked attacks but already in 2020, there have been eight officers killed in ambushes.

 

Saturday night, two Los Angeles sheriff deputies were ambushed with gunfire as they sat in their patrol car, and then protestors blocked the entrance to the hospital where the two were being treated, saying, “We hope they die.” One victim of the Compton shooting was a 31-year-old mother, the other a 24-year old man, both relatively new to the force. It is no wonder police across the country are taking early retirement under threat of defunding and widespread disrespect, if not murderous attack, from people they attempt to serve. All politicians should speak out about this.

 

We have seen mass murders of multiple police officers several times in the past decade, partly traced to media coverage of a single event of police overreach in one arrest with edited video footage sometimes showing only part of the story. This continual reporting bias by some in the media is cultural poison. No profession, be it law enforcement or media, should be judged as a whole by the worst actions or mistakes of a few of its members. There are hundreds of thousands of good police officers in the country, who have done their best to protect the rights and lives of everyone they meet.

Please endeavor to show more positive and even heroic actions by law enforcement to provide more balance in the news made available to the public.  I advise those with a sincere interest in reform to help with their local chapter of Crime Stoppers. I am on the Board of Crime Stoppers in Harden & Jefferson counties in Texas, where community outreach is ongoing.

 

There is so much good being done between the police and the communities they serve. Yes, there is always room for constructive reform and improvements on both sides.  I call for balanced national media coverage – more in line with local media – that would include reporting on more of the positive side of police service in our inner-city communities. Call Crime Stoppers and conduct proper research to get the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would say.

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