When I first heard the story about Police Chief Michael Pimentel who was murdered after he was shot several times during a routine traffic stop in Elmendorf, Texas (a suburb of San Antonio), I was curious what kind of media coverage it would get.
So I Googled the story, visited a few websites, and on each I immediately scrolled down to the comments section, curious to see what people might say about this man who was in his 60’s who was killed while on the job.
And what I saw was absolutely appalling. People actually mocking this man’s death. Suggesting that he might have “deserved it” because he’s a cop. Because that obviously means he’s corrupt, unethical and would have probably killed the suspect had he not killed him first.
Just ridiculous, disgusting nonsense.
Here are a few comments I ran across in just a couple of the articles I checked out:
Forgive me, but I have little sympathy for the dead officer, maybe its the times that we live in, I really don’t know.
There certainly is a good reason to think this cop brought it on himself: he’s a cop.
I have little sympathy for either of them.
It’s entirely reasonable these days to be terrified by any cop. They have revealed themselves to be trigger happy thugs who will shoot anyone without provocation. Mr. Lopez was quite rightly terrified and did what any normal person would do, which was to protect himself from a racist assasssin.
Karma. Payback just a little bit for what happened in Ferguson, MO. HAHAHA
Another one bites the dust.
Cop should have been at a donut shop where he at least could be online or something.
Yeah we all know how the cops like to shoot first ask questions later these days…poor guy problably got scared thinking it was his turn to die and decided not today..
I have a hard time mustering any sympathy for the cop.
2014 number justifiable homicides by police, 400. Number of police killed by guns, 28. Amount of pity for this guy, small
I won’t be surprised to hear that Mr. Lopez shot the Chief because he was afraid he was going to be murdered for being a non-white.
Simply reprehensible. And these weren’t the minority, these were the majority of comments on some sites. Just check out the comments section on Raw Story for one example.
I can’t stress enough that people need to realize that there’s a huge difference between advocating for more accountability from our police officers, and slandering them. Because what I’m seeing more and more of isn’t “cop watching,” it’s cop bashing.
And that’s what a lot of liberals are falling prey to. Left-leaning websites that have realized they can make a lot of money by bashing police officers.
Because as I’m writing this now, on August 24, I didn’t see this story about the Texas police chief who was gunned down on left-leaning websites like Addicting Info, Americans Against the Tea Party, Blue Nation Review or Think Progress. Though I did find many anti-cop stories being pushed on these websites.
Was this story not “newsworthy” or was it simply not “revenue generating”? I’ll let you decide for yourself.
If you want to be a partisan website about politics, that’s one thing. But if you want to report on news, real news, then there’s a level of ethics and impartiality you’re supposed to maintain. Though that’s not what’s happening. These stories aren’t written impartially to raise awareness. Many of them are written with the sole goal of producing a “shocking headline” that drives “hits” and generates revenue.
And trust me, that’s a very dangerous “game” to play with how news is reported.
Now, am I saying we shouldn’t report on inappropriate behavior by police officers? Absolutely not. But like I said, there’s a difference between advocacy for bringing accountability to our law enforcement agencies, and pushing fear and hatred toward police officers for the sake of driving traffic and revenue.
Which is how you end up with people mocking the death of a police chief who was gunned down on duty. Because, you know, all cops are bad. At least that’s what you’d think if you read many of those websites I listed.
And let me let you all in on a little “media secret.” If you push a singular position enough, you can make damn near anything seem real. The vast majority of police activity today didn’t result in violence or any sort of police brutality. But when that’s all many of these sites report on, of course it seems like that’s all that happened.
Why do you think Fox News viewers believe so many lies about President Obama? Because that’s all Fox News and the conservative media tells them. If your “news” site dedicates itself to pushing a singular narrative, that’s what’s going to seem like “reality” whether it’s factual or not.
Think about it. When’s the last time you saw many of these sites report on anything positive about police officers? When’s the last time you saw any media outlet report on something positive police officers did?
Like this story about the South Carolina cop who bought a young African American boy he countered on a routine stop bedroom furniture after seeing the kinds of conditions in which he was living. Or this one about a police officer who stopped to throw around a football with a young boy he saw playing alone in an apartment complex. And I’m sure most people didn’t hear about the two cops who spontaneously stopped to challenge two kids to a “dance off” while they were out on duty.
Like I said, if you push a narrative enough, people are going to believe it.
Now I know I’ll probably get slammed for writing this. I’m a liberal, writing for a left-leaning website, who doesn’t subscribe to the droned talking point of “all cops are bad.”
Instead I subscribe to the belief that police officers need to be held accountable when they act inappropriately, but that they’re not our enemy and the overwhelming majority of them aren’t bad. And while it’s important to report on these stories where a cop behaves criminally, I also understand there’s a difference between holding police officers accountable for their actions and “outrage-mongering” against law enforcement officers.
Because something’s gone terribly wrong when “police accountability” has turned into people mocking the death of a police officer in the line of duty.
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