To hear the liberal media describe it, you’d think the streets of American cities are awash in the blood of unarmed civilians who have been gunned down for no reason by police officers — a notion that isn’t anywhere close to being true.
Of course, that didn’t stop The Washington Post from perpetuating that narrative with a lengthy article Monday about police-involved shootings — but now, they’ve been caught red-handed. According to Breitbart, the Post hid the truth deep within the piece: the number of unarmed black men and women being shot and killed by police has actually declined dramatically over the last several years.
Hiding the truth
That article from the Post was given the lengthy title: “Protests spread over police shootings. Police promised reforms. Every year, they still shoot and kill nearly 1,000 people.” But it wasn’t until about a third of the way into the astonishingly long piece — in the 35th and 36th paragraphs — that the Post actually shared the numbers of shootings per year involving unarmed black Americans, as Breitbart noted.
Even then, the article failed to fully highlight the significance of the decline, which Breitbart said was around 60% since 2015. The Post simply shared the raw numbers year over year, leaving readers to do the math on their own.
“In 2015, the first year The Post tallied these numbers, officers killed 94 unarmed people, the largest group among them black men: 38,” the Post wrote in the 35th paragraph, according to Breitbart.
The next paragraph read: “The following year saw a large drop in the number of unarmed shootings, declining to 51, with 22 of those killed being white and 19 black. The number has remained relatively steady each year since. In 2019, 55 unarmed people were shot and killed by police, with white people accounting for 25 of them, while 14 of them were black.”
Pushing the narrative
To be sure, police-involved shootings are an issue that many Americans are concerned about right now, regardless of race or ideology. As such, it is important to have an honest and forthright conversation about the issue — but that’s difficult to do when media outlets frame the facts in a way that either conceals or downplays the truth to fit a particular narrative.
The clear narrative for this particular piece was that nearly 1,000 people are shot and killed by the police every year. It wasn’t until the 10th paragraph, however, that the Post acknowledged a rather critical fact underlying those numbers: “The overwhelming majority of people killed are armed. Nearly half of all people fatally shot by police are white.”
Two paragraphs later, according to Breitbart, the Post acknowledged that “[t]he number of black and unarmed people fatally shot by police has declined since 2015.”
“But whether armed or not, black people are still shot and killed at a disproportionately higher rate than white people,” the paper added as a caveat. The Post admitted later in the piece that “[f]atal police shootings are relatively rare events in a country where nearly 40,000 people die from firearms each year. Hundreds of thousands of police officers work in America, most of whom will never fire their guns on duty,” the paper added.
The bottom line
Of course, as noted, just about everybody wants to do something to reduce the number of police-involved shootings — especially when the victims are unarmed.
But that will require a level of truthfulness from the mainstream media that it appears unwilling to muster, even when it’s needed most.