There are few things more undermining to a democracy than a news organization that makes "errors" like this.
Baltimore's WBFF, a Fox-affiliated station, has been caught editing a video so that protestors sounded like they were chanting, "Kill a cop!"
The station reportedly three times in the past 24 hours or so, ran a report on a Washington, D.C. "Justice for All" peaceful, non-violent protest against police violence and brutality – one of many protests that are taking place daily across the country.
Protestors – and thanks to C-SPAN there is evidence to back up their claims – chanted,
"We can't stop!"
"We won't stop!"
"'til killer cops are in cell blocks!"
Not the greatest chant in the world, but it got their point across.
Here's the video:
Perhaps the YouTube audio wasn't the best, but there were options to the news team at WBFF, including going to the original C-SPAN video, or contacting organizers, which included the NAACP, HRC and Al Sharpton's National Action Network, or even checking social media for other reports to confirm or deny their claim.
But WBFF, or someone at the station, seems to have decided that wasn't the message they wanted their viewers to hear, so the video was edited, and a news reporter told viewers what they were hearing was actually:
"We won't stop!"
"We can't stop!"
"So kill a cop!"
For some reason, the reporter even switched the order of the chant.
Fortunately, one of the protestors refused to let that stand.
And she took action.
Gawker, which first reported on the story, writes:
What's significant about this act – other than the fact that it is intended for and will be gobbled up by psychotic paranoid racist conservative white people as evidence of the inherent criminality of black people – is that the woman leading the chant is Tawanda Jones, the sister of Tyrone West, who was murdered by Baltimore City Police on July 18, 2013. The West family's quest for justice for this crime has been overwhelmingly ignored by the city of Baltimore – after 73 weeks' worth of "West Wednesday" actions, the family has still not even been given Tyrone's full autopsy report.
Tawanda Jones posted a message on Facebook calling out WBFF/Fox 45 News.
And tonight she was on their newscast to give viewers the truth.
Is the current political environment putting police officers at greater risk than before? #FOX45QOD
Claiming it was merely "an honest misunderstanding of what the protesters were saying," and not mentioning how the audio was edited -- or if anyone will be losing their job as a result -- WBFF/Fox 45 said they are now "apologizing for an error made on Fox45 News at Ten last night."
We aired a clip from a protest in Washington, DC where we reported protesters were chanting “kill a cop”. We received a phone call from Tawanda Jones, who is in the video, who informed us that the chant was actually “We won’t stop….We can’t stop…. ‘til killer cops…. are in cell blocks”. We here at Fox45 work hard every day to earn your trust and bring you fair and comprehensive news from around the country.
Some responses via Twitter:
Fox 45 claims no ill intent little do they know our family integrity has already been destroyed— ❤ (@Boom_Pow_Mayyah) December 22, 2014
The Baltimore Sun tonight reports that "Jones appeared on the 5:30 p.m. Fox45 news, where anchorman Jeff Barnd apologized to her on behalf of the station."
Image via Facebook