Even before The New York Times launched its “All Slavery, All the Time” project, no one could accuse that paper of skimping on its race coverage, particularly stories about black males killed by white(ish) police officers.
Here’s one you haven’t heard about. I happened upon it by sheer accident.
Antwon Rose II was a 17-year-old boy shot by an East Pittsburgh police officer in June 2018 after he bolted from a jitney car that had been stopped by the officer. The Times published about a half-dozen stories on Antwon Rose -- or as the Times calls him, “Antwon, who was unarmed.”
After the officer was acquitted on all charges in March of this year, the Times ran an article by Adeel Hassan on the verdict.
Here’s what you would learn from the Times:
-- Antwon was unarmed.
-- Antwon “was in his high school’s honors program.”
-- Antwon “played basketball and the saxophone.”
-- Antwon “volunteered for a local charity.”
-- In 2016, Antwon wrote a poem titled, “I Am Not What You Think!” which included these lines:
I see mothers bury their sons
I want my Mom to never feel that pain.
-- A policeman stopped the gold Chevy Cruze Antwon “was riding in” because it “matched the description” of a car “involved” in a drive-by shooting minutes earlier.
-- The jury consisted of nine whites and three African Americans.
If you read the Times piece, all you would know is that an honor student who loved his mom ... was KILLED for the crime of riding in a car similar to one that had just been used in a crime.
Wow. Just wow.
Here are some of the facts the Times left out:
-- The gold Chevy Cruze Antwon fled did not merely “match the description of” a car used in a drive-by shooting: It was the car used in the drive-by shooting, as proved by surveillance video posted online days after the shooting and shown to the jury.
-- The video shows 13 shots being fired from the back seat of that exact car, with -- according to the prosecutor -- Antwon riding in the front seat.
-- The backseat passenger, Zaijuan Hester, later pleaded guilty to the drive-by shooting.
-- One of the victims of the drive-by shooting told police it was Antwon who shot him. "The beef was between me and him,” William Ross told a Pennsylvania State Police officer. “That car came by, he shot me, I ran to the store."
-- The jitney driver told police that, right before the shooting started, he heard the backseat passenger ask, “Is that him?”
-- The gun used in the drive-by was recovered in the back seat of the car.
-- A stolen gun was found under Antwon’s seat, an empty magazine in Antwon’s pants pocket, and there was gunpowder residue on Antwon’s hands.
-- The car stopped by the officer was riddled with bullet holes.
-- The jury that unanimously acquitted the officer was led by an African American foreman, who stoutly defended the verdict.
None of that made it into the Times story on the trial’s conclusion.
I’m glad that Antwon did charity work, but isn’t it rather more important that he had participated in a drive-by shooting of two other black guys 13 minutes before being stopped by a police officer?
That’s not conjecture or speculation. Hassan wasn’t writing about the case the day after the shooting. These are facts that were presented in court and copiously reported by the local media -- even in the British press.
Normal Person to The New York Times: Why did you say the car “matched the description” of the car used in a drive-by shooting -- but not say that it WAS the car used in the drive-by shooting?
NYT: I’m sorry, who are you and do you have a press pass?
Normal Person: You didn’t mention that a stolen gun was found under Antwon’s seat and a matching cartridge in Antwon’s pocket???
NYT: We only have so much space and I needed room for Antwon’s poem.
Normal Person: You didn’t have space to say that gun residue was found on Antwon’s hands?
NYT: I could have run more of the poem. It was a good poem.
Normal Person: Or that one of the victims of the drive-by said Antwon was the one who shot him?
NYT: The officer didn’t know that.
Normal Person: Did the officer know about Antwon’s A.P. classes? It goes to the likelihood of his behavior being perceived as threatening. The officer could certainly see that the car’s back window had been shot out.
NYT: You’re a white supremacist and white nationalist and, yes, I know they’re different, but you’re both.
There’s no reason to think this isn’t standard operating procedure at the Times. The editors can’t say, OK, OK, that one got past us!
The Times has told wild lies about the racist shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (false), the racist arrest of Freddie Grey in Baltimore (false), the racist shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida (false), the racist gang-rape of a black stripper by a Duke lacrosse team (false) and so on.
Antwon Rose’s shooting wasn’t even a flood-the-zone, hair-on-fire story. But the Times lied about it, too.
This is a newspaper that cannot be trusted on anything touching on race. They’re liars and ideologues, not reporters and editors.