I have not had a lot of time to write blog entries lately. The new class I am taking has me doing a lot of work at home plus trying to finish the rough draft of the book. So today I have a little story from the book. Those of you who were in the 83 at the time may remember the incident that inspired this. The confrontation with the reporter the next day happened just as it’s written. The quotes I use from the reporter are actual quotes from her when questioned about the very misleading story.
A call came in for a 10-30 Robbery in progress On Knickerbocker Ave. We were in the station house, by the time we could get to our car a 10-13 shots fired had been called. As we pulled up to the scene we could see two cars on the scene there were a civilian laying face in the street cuffed. Sector Adam came over that they were in pursuit of a blue Ford with two more perps in it. We joined the chase along with every available car. Sector George blocked them off at Cook and Bushwick. Within seconds ten cars surrounded them. Twenty cops with guns out. The skells were no longer interested in fighting. They dropped their guns out the car windows and raised their hands. We yanked them out and cuffed them. It was a big scene, all those cops yelling with guns out attracted a large crowd.
Three local scumbags had seen the big commotion at Bushwick and Cook. They saw cops running around with guns out and asked people what happened. They heard that there was a shooting and the cops had killed someone. They got their story together and went down to the precinct and gave their “eyewitness” statements. They said that they saw one young man step out of the car with his hands in the air. They could see that he was terrified crying and begging the cops not to hurt him. That he was giving up. Then the cops shot him for no reason. They were absolutely sure of what they saw at Bushwick and Cook.
In fact the only person shot was shot miles away on Knickerbocker Ave. the other two gave up without a fight of any kind. A reporter that was at the precinct had spoken to them and to the investigators and had visited both scenes. We thought it was funny that now these assholes would be shown as liars and maybe the public would learn how it was for us.
The paper came out the next day there was the story of the shooting. When we read it we were amazed because after writing a brief account of what happened. Which she described as a police statement. She wrote that witnesses disputed the police accounts. She went on to give a detailed report of the story that the three had come up with including a crying eighteen year old begging for his life with his hands in the air being shot down for no reason by cops angry that they had to chase him. There was no mention that they were miles off on the location of the shooting and obviously lying.
That night she was back at the precinct. We asked her why she lied in her story. She explained “I did not lie. I didn’t say that was what happened only that it was what those three said happened.” We yelled at her she knew they were lying. She knew that it wasn’t the truth. Her answer told me all I would ever need to know about reporters. She smiled ” My job is not to get the truth but to get the best story and their story was the best story.” I would never trust a reporter again.