The latest example of the L.A. Times‘s anti-law enforcement bias comes in a story titled, incredibly, Police shot unarmed man, witness says. The deck headline reads: “The account of a teen present at the shooting in Van Nuys differs greatly from the department’s explanation.” And the opening of the story reads as follows:
A teenager who witnessed his friend being fatally shot by a Los Angeles motorcycle officer offered a dramatically different account of the encounter than police Friday, saying the man was killed while trying to surrender and wasn’t carrying anything in his hands.
A police official overseeing the shooting investigation confirmed that the teenager gave investigators a similar account, but said detectives believe he is lying. Two bystanders saw the suspect approach officers with an object in his hand, according to the official.
The object, which turned out to be a 24-inch metal microphone stand, was recovered at the scene, police said.
Let’s review the evidence. Two “bystanders” with no reported connection to police or the dead teenager say he approached police with an object in his hand. Indeed, in the 22nd paragraph, they are described as “two independent eyewitnesses.” This corroborates the police account, as does the recovery of the item. But the dead teenager’s friend predictably says he was unarmed. So we get a headline suggesting the cops shot an “unarmed man” according to a “witness” — not “friend,” but “witness.” Same for the deck headline, which calls the dead teenager’s friend “a teen present at the shooting.” Neither headline refers to the friend as a friend, nor does either headline mention that more than one disinterested witness corroborates the police account.
More sensationalism to the detriment of the LAPD. Par for the course.