CNN, CBS Highlight Black Police Shooting Victims, Ignore Other Races

In the final week of 2020, as the media have covered the disturbing case of an unarmed black man, Andre Hill, who was recently killed by a police officer in Columbus, Ohio, CNN and CBS have both presented misleading statistics on the number of African Americans who have been killed by police officers since George Floyd’s death from May.

On Monday, two CNN shows — New Day and CNN Tonight — gave liberal civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump a forum to cite reports on the number of blacks killed by cops since May without mentioning that most killed were from other racial groups in the same time period. Blacks are killed a higher rate in police incidents, but more many more whites are killed (and are typically considered not newsworthy).

On Wednesday, CBS This Morning ran another report in which fill-in co-host Jericka Duncan cited reports that more than 100 blacks have been killed since May, again without mentioning the numbers that included any other racial groups.

As Crump appeared as a guest on New Day, he complained:

And we we’re demanding that the other police bodycam video be released so the world can see that they continue to show disrespect to unarmed black people in 2020 after seeing George Floyd — after seeing Jacob Blake Jr. — after seeing Ahmaud Arbery — how many more black people would die in 2020 before we say, “Enough is enough.” This is 96 black people since George Floyd was killed on May 25th that have been killed by the police.

Co-host Alisyn Camerota asked for clarification as she followed up: “So, just so I’m clear on that, you know, you’re saying 96 unarmed black people that have been shot since George Floyd?”

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Crump vaguely seemed to concede that some of the cases he cited were not necessarily unarmed as he responded: “We know The Guardian has said 96 black people — black men and women — and there may be different circumstances, but we know that number, during a pandemic, is just shocking if you think about George Floyd was supposed to be the turning point where we stopped this…”

On the same day’s CNN Tonight, Crump made another appearance and gave a slightly lower number, but still without the context of including other racial groups: “Now, you see what happens to Andre Hill three days before Christmas, Don. I mean, an unarmed black man holding a cell phone — 76 black people have been killed by the police since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.”

Don Lemon made no challenge to his guest’s claims as the CNN host followed up: “What does achieving justice look like in this case, Ben?”

And on the next morning, CBS’s Jericka Duncan cited a different source in a report on the Andre Hill killing: “According to records, since the day after George Floyd’s death back in May, more than 100 black people have been killed by the police.”

But the Washington Post database of deadly police shootings finds that, out of a total of 981 police shooting deaths that it has recorded for all of 2020, the number of whites was at least 432 (44 percent), along with 223 blacks (23 percent), 155 Hispanics (16 percent), 22 of other races, and 149 of undetermined race.

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The total number categorized as unarmed stands at 40, which includes 17 whites, 13 blacks, six Hispanics, one Asian, and three of undetermined race.

We found CNN’s New Day has notably only highlighted one example of a white police shooting victim all year, and that was a 16-year-old case from 2004 that was given attention to undermine the police department in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where Jacob Blake was more recently killed.

The episode of CBS This Morning was sponsored in part by Cadillac. Their contact information is linked.

Transcripts follow:

CNN

New Day

December 28, 2020

7:42 a.m. Eastern

BENJAMIN CRUMP, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: And we we’re demanding that the other police bodycam video be released so the world can see that they continue to show disrespect to unarmed black people in 2020 after seeing George Floyd — after seeing Jacob Blake Jr. — after seeing Ahmaud Arbery — how many more black people would die in 2020 before we say, “Enough is enough.” This is 96 black people since George Floyd was killed on May 25th that have been killed by the police.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: So, just so I’m clear on that, you know, you’re saying 96 unarmed black people that have been shot since George Floyd?

CRUMP: We know The Guardian has said 96 black people — black men and women — and there may be different circumstances, but we know that number, during a pandemic, is just shocking if you think about George Floyd was supposed to be the turning point where we stopped this, and the fact that Andre Hill had a Black Lives Matter t-shirt that had “Justice for George Floyd” on it when he was shot.

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(…)

CNN Tonight

December 28, 2020

10:55 p.m.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Now, you see what happens to Andre Hill three days before Christmas, Don. I mean, an unarmed black man holding a cell phone — 76 black people have been killed by the police since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. And, Don, we all thought that was going to be a turning point where this wouldn’t happen, but, yet, how many more black people have to be killed before the year 2020 ends?

DON LEMON: What does achieving justice look like in this case, Ben?

(…)

CBS This Morning

December 29, 2020

7:17 a.m.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: George Floyd was supposed to be the turning point where we saw these killings come down.

JERICKA DUNCAN: According to records, since the day after George Floyd’s death back in May, more than 100 black people have been killed by the police.

CRUMP: And what is so ironic is the fact that Andre Hill was wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt and had a picture of George Floyd on it when he was shot and killed by these police officers.

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