MSNBC Videos Show Death in Police Custody
"Today, MSNBC aired and released an exclusive investigation of the repeated tasing and in-custody death of a Virginia man who was taken to a hospital for medical care by police, reported and led by MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber," the network said Wednesday in a news release.
The report was accompanied by police and hospital video that the network said it obtained, showing the 46-year-old African American alive and then, while still in custody, apparently lifeless (videos).
"The investigation reveals new information about the circumstances of Linwood Lambert Jr.'s death and possible violations of local and federal rules by Virginia police. Police found . . . Lambert . . . speaking delusionally at a motel in the middle of the night in May 2013.
"The incident began with an attempt to get Lambert medical care at the E.R., but turned into an altercation, a series of tasings, and then Lambert's death within about an hour. His autopsy listed cocaine intoxication as the cause of death, while his family alleges police brutality and wrongful death," the MSNBC statement continued.
The report by Melber begins, "When three Virginia police officers put Linwood Lambert in a squad car around 5 a.m. on May 4, 2013, they said they were taking him to the ER for medical attention because he was speaking delusionally. Just over an hour later, Lambert died in police custody.
"He was never given medical care, though the officers of South Boston, Va. did drive him to the hospital. He was not initially put under arrest, though the officers ultimately arrested him, shackled his hands and legs, and tased him repeatedly. While in custody he was agitated and ran from the officers. Ambulance workers say police later claimed he fought them at a time when videos show he was actually unconscious. Police dispute that account and deny allegations of excessive force.
"Over two years later, there have been no charges and no full public accounting of what happened. But a new investigation, including police videos obtained exclusively by MSNBC, shows the deadly trip for the first time. . . ."
MSNBC also said, "The exclusive report is based on an MSNBC investigation, which analyzed 80 minutes of new video shot from police and hospital cameras – obtained exclusively by MSNBC – and hundreds of pages of hospital records, police documents and other materials not in the public domain. For the investigation, Melber also interviewed Lambert's surviving family members, their lawyer, law enforcement experts, former police officers, an official from Taser International and the local prosecutor in the case, which remains an open criminal investigation in Virginia.
"Coverage began today on 'MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts' (1-3pmET) with reports and analysis by Melber and Jim Cavanaugh, former ATF agent and former FBI Profiler. Melber's reporting will continue on daytime and primetime programming, including an interview with Lambert's sister, Gwendolyn Smalls on 'MSNBC Live with Kate Snow' (3-5pmET), an interview with Lambert's father, Linwood Lambert Sr. on 'MSNBC Live' (6-7pmET), and new reports on 'All in with Chris Hayes' (8-9pmET) and 'The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell' (10-11pmET).
"In addition to extensive on-air coverage, an in-depth article by Melber, incident timeline and the exclusive, unseen video of the entire altercation released for the first time are now available . . . The article includes new details on the criminal case, based on Melber's interview with the local prosecutor, new information from the Lambert family, and extensive reporting on Tasers and police use of force. . . ."
Bill McKelway, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Suit seeks millions in death of Richmond man tasered by South Boston police (May 22)
Tom McLaughlin, News & Record, South Boston, Va.: South Boston police respond to lawsuit: Violent, erratic actions justified use of Tasers (June 4)
In 2009, the Smithsonian Institution hosted a retrospective on the Black Power Movement called "1968 and Beyond: A Symposium on the Impact of the Black Power Movement on America."
One feature of that time, roughly the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, was activists' distrust of the mainstream media.
"The white media just basically attacked us," Askia Muhammad Toure, activist, educator and poet, told Journal-isms then. "Very few black people were writing in the white media at the time, and those who did attacked us, too." He attributed the attacks to fear of black self-assertion. "If you don't define your reality, somebody else will," Toure had told the conference.
The media played "a very important role" in the black power movement, poet Sonia Sanchez said at the same event. "Positive and negative, but mostly negative." It wasn't unusual for black reporters working for white-controlled media to be expelled from such gatherings.
Judging from the videos showing University of Missouri student activists attempting to deny a photographer the right to record their protest on Monday, not much has changed in the last 40 years.
The protesters who sought to prevent student photojournalist Tim Tai from doing his job included white students and professors who were duly rebuked after the videos circulated.
But alongside the written outrage at the violation of Tai's rights from mostly white journalists were defenses, some by African Americans, of the black students. Their attitudes toward the media weren't too different from those of their black-power era counterparts.
"As reporters, we have to drop our sense of entitlement and understand that not everyone wants to be subjects of our journalism," Terrell Jermaine Starr wrote for the Washington Post. "Our press passes don't give us the license to bully ourselves into any and all spaces where our presence is not appreciated."
Starr also wrote, "That black students would be skeptical of media is understandable. We've already seen the kind of headlines they undoubtedly feared. In an Atlantic piece headlined 'Campus Activists Weaponize "Safe Space",' Conor Friedersdorf calls the protesters a mob and insists they are 'twisting the concept of "safe space." 'Again, a journalist criminalizes black people for expressing their pain. It was another piece centering the reporter's privilege over the students' trauma. Friedersdorf's piece completely ignores the intolerable racial climate that forced the students to establish a safe space in the first place. . . ."
On Tuesday for Salon, Paula Young Lee wrote, "Journalist Tracie Powell runs the website All Digitocracy.org, which works to support journalists of color while raising awareness of structural racism in the media. Powell is concerned about the treatment of Tai, the student photographer, but her gut instinct was that the refusal of the protesters to admit the press was, more accurately, their refusal to feed the biases of White journalism.
" 'For me, the overwhelming impression was that they didn't trust the White reporters suddenly trying to cover the story.' In conversation with me, she noted that these reporters had already shown themselves to be ranging from indifferent to outright hostile to the concerns outlined by Black students on campus, and 'parachute journalism' — jumping in to a big story and then leaving — would give activists no reason to trust them.
"Her instincts are confirmed from various tweets from student protesters on campus, including one from #ConcernedStudent1950: 'It's typically white media who don’t understand the importance of respecting black spaces.' . . ."
It took black journalists Deborah Douglas and Afi-Odelia Scruggs, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review on Wednesday, to question what these students were learning about the media on a campus with one of the nation's top-ranked journalism schools.
"Had they really wanted to support the student activists," Douglas and Scruggs wrote of the enabling faculty members, "they could have sought instead to coach students in strategies for engagement with the media. Where were democratically chosen student representatives armed with talking points for reforms to the campus racial climate? What's the consistent narrative these students sought to communicate at this assembly?
"How to engage the media, even use and manipulate it, are real tools these students could deploy to effectively tell their story. Instead, this video depicts earnest students with legitimate issues articulating a consistent misunderstanding of basic tenets of American civic engagement.
" 'You’d better back up,' one male student said to Tim Tai, a young journalist trying to take photographs on the quad. 'Forget the law, what about humanity?' a young woman responded to Tai's calm First Amendment explanation of his right to be there. Another male student suggested the police could come take Tai away, which is patently not true.
"The coalition of student activists standing up for justice on campus — and interfering with the rights of journalists to cover the protests — was multicultural and multiracial. But as African-American journalists ourselves, we hate that so many of the untruths uttered at Tai came from black students. And we fear that the ethos of 'No Media — Safe Space' is both an obstacle to their current goals and something that will stay with them when they go home to run the world. . . ."
Trent Baker, Breitbart.com: ESPN's Stephen A. Smith Urges Caution on Mizzou, Race Card — Twitter Explodes
Paul Cheung, Asian American Journalists Association: AAJA [urges] University of Missouri to be vigilant in upholding press freedom
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: College student activism, 'black lives matter' and the clash of generations
Deborah Douglas and Afi-Odelia Scruggs, Columbia Journalism Review: Mizzou protesters could use some media training
Editorial, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Winning the battle at Mizzou is signal for hard work to begin
Editorial, Washington Post: At U. of Missouri and Yale, obstruction of free speech
Paul Farhi, Washington Post: Why everyone (it seems) hates the news media
Kristen Hare, Poynter Institute: How student journalists at Mizzou are telling a local story that’s become national
Allen Johnson, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: Not like Mike? Missouri football team keys successful movement to oust president
Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: For some, U. of Missouri students protesting racism are 'race agitators'
Phillip Morris, the Plain Dealer: University of Missouri football team sacks a president
Taryn Finley and Mariah Stewart, HuffPost BlackVoices: Students Share What It's Like To Be Black At Mizzou
John Hammontree, al.com: UA students produce video about racism, being called the n-word on campus
Media Matters for America: Fox Co-Hosts Shout Down Black Host Trying To Explain Why Mizzou Students Felt Marginalized
New York Times: Racial Tension and Protests on Campuses Across the Country
Richard Pérez-Peña and Christine Hauser, New York Times: University of Missouri Professor Who Confronted Photographer Quits Journalism Post
Madison Plaster and Nancy Coleman, the Maneater, University of Missouri-Columbia: Journalism Dean David Kurpius speaks to journalism classes
Tasneem Raja, NPR "Code Switch": A Few Good Reads On The Missouri Protesters And Journalistic Outrage
Tod Robberson, Dallas Morning News: Missouri media professor gets a hard lesson on how to work with the media
Collin Ruane, KOMU-TV, Columbia, Mo.: Reporter Tim Tai speaks on camera for first time since viral video
Ruth Serven and William Schmitt, Missourian, Columbia, Mo.: UPDATE: MU director of Greek Life put on leave; Title IX complaint filed against her and Click
Kouichi Shirayanagi, the Guardian: As a minority student at Mizzou, the racial tensions there didn't surprise me
Terrell Jermaine Starr, Washington Post: There's a good reason protesters at the University of Missouri didn’t want the media around
Steven W Thrasher, the Guardian: How racial justice advocates took on Mizzou and won
Tom Warhover, the Missourian, Columbia, Mo.: DEAR READER: On a historic day for MU, protest against media wasn't most important
Erik Wemple, Washington Post: MU religious studies professor apologized to photojournalist Tim Tai
Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Staffer offers public apology for hassling student photojournalist at University of Missouri
Damon Young, verysmartbrothas.com: How The University Of Missouri Is Drowning In White Tears, Explained
"At Tuesday night's debate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich ripped into Donald Trump about his plan to deport 11 million immigrants should he become president," Hannah Levintova reported Tuesday for Mother Jones. " 'Come on, folks,' he said, exasperated. 'We all know you can't pick them up and ship them back across the border. It's a silly argument. It's not an adult argument. It makes no sense!'
"In response, Trump invoked historical precedent: 'Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower. Good president. Great president. People liked him. I liked him. I Like Ike, right? The expression, 'I like Ike.' Moved 1.5 million illegal immigrants out of this country. Moved them just beyond the border, they came back. Moved them again beyond the border, they came back. Didn't like it. Moved 'em waaaay south, they never came back. Dwight Eisenhower. You don't get nicer, you don't get friendlier. They moved 1.5 million people out. We have no choice. We. Have. No. Choice.' . . .
"The Eisenhower program Trump was referring to, if not by name, was called 'Operation Wetback.' Implemented by President Eisenhower in the 1950s, the program was frighteningly simple: round up undocumented immigrants and drop them off in Mexico by the busload. The more obscure the location, the better. Dozens of the operation's deportees died. The program was initiated by then-Attorney General Herbert Brownell Jr., who ordered his officers to shoot 'wetbacks' trying to enter America.
"Ultimately, it wasn't even as successful as Trump claims: Some researchers consider the 1.5 million-deported figure to be highly exaggerated.
"White supremacists picked up on Trump's reference immediately . . ."
"Only 19.8 percent of black teenagers have a job, who are looking for one."
— Ben Carson during Tuesday's GOP presidential debate
"In saying he was against increasing the minimum wage, Carson cited a figure for black teenage unemployment that seemed suspiciously high to some viewers," Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee wrote in their fact-checking column in the Washington Post. "Apparently he meant to refer to the unemployment rate, though it came out sounding like he was saying 80 percent were unemployed.
"But then a 19.8 percent unemployment rate sounded suspiciously low. Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that it stood at 25.6 percent as of October.
"The Carson campaign initially sent a 2013 report from the American Enterprise Institute that said the jobless rate for black male teens was 44.3 percent — but 19.8 percent for white male teens. Oops. Then we were sent a pair of studies that shows the summer jobless rate for black teens was 19 percent. Seems like a shifting of the goal posts, but apparently he was talking about summer employment. He just didn't make that very clear. . . ."
"Howard University's Department of Media, Journalism and Film is launching a new fact-checking website today: TruthBeTold.news — one of 11 winners of the 2015-16 Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education," the school announced on Tuesday.
"TruthBeTold.news is a non-profit, non-partisan website and digital network that examines claims about the black community in public debate. 'It teaches students to use advanced reporting tools and social media skills in engaging ways to uncover the truth about myths, stereotypes and false statements,' explained Yanick Rice Lamb, chair of the Department of Media, Journalism and Film in the School of Communications.
"Pegged to tonight's Republican debate sponsored by the Fox Business Network, Daniel White wrote 'Can Ben Carson Help the GOP Attract Black Voters?' . . ."
Lamb messaged that the site was a work in progress. It does not, for example, examine comments made during Tuesday's Republican candidates debate.
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: What Donald Trump got right
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Ben Carson's Middle East muddle
Juan Gonzalez, Daily News, New York: As GOP pushes bringing back Old America, Fight for 15 strives to bring equality for immigrants and minorities
Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post: Fact checking the fourth round of GOP debates
Sandra Lilley, NBC News Latino: Trump's Immigration Solution: Bring Back Controversial 'Operation Wetback'
Jim Mitchell, Dallas Morning News: Does "liberal" language belong in a conservative debate?
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: This Is Marco's moment
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: What's killing Trump's voters?
Eyder Peralta, NPR: It Came Up In The Debate: Here Are 3 Things To Know About 'Operation Wetback'
Geraldo Rivera, Fox News Latino: Bringing back the shame of 'Operation Wetback'
Gyasi Ross, Indian Country Today Media Network: What a Trump Presidency Would Mean For Native People (Yeah, It's As Crazy As You'd Expect)
Rick Sanchez, Fox News Latino: Alas! It was an Hispanic win for the GOP
Yanan Wang, Washington Post: Donald Trump's 'humane' 1950s model for deportation, 'Operation Wetback', was anything but
It began, "In just eight years, Pinellas County School Board members turned five schools in the county's black neighborhoods into some of the worst in Florida.
"First they abandoned integration, leaving the schools overwhelmingly poor and black.
"Then they broke promises of more money and resources.
"Then — as black children started failing at outrageous rates, as overstressed teachers walked off the job, as middle class families fled en masse — the board stood by and did nothing.
"Today thousands of children are paying the price, a Tampa Bay Times investigation has found. . . .
"Times reporters spent a year reviewing tens of thousands of pages of district documents, analyzing millions of computer records and interviewing parents of more than 100 current and former students. Then they crisscrossed the state to see how other school districts compared. . . ."
In a podcast this week, "the Times’ Michael LaForgia and Adam Playford talk with ProPublica editor Eric Umansky about what happened, what led the paper to investigate, and why re-integrating the schools isn't really on the table," Cynthia Gordy wrote Monday for ProPublica.
Newsroom diversity was part of the conversation.
LaForgia replied to a question, "Our newsroom like others could be more diverse. Whether that would have led us in a straighter line to the story, I'm not sure. I think it would have helped if we had a black reporter who had been in this county and covering these issues for 10 or 15 years. But I would have settled for any reporter who been in this county covering the issues."
"The Vladimir Herzog Award is considered one of the highest recognitions of human rights in Brazilian journalism," Rodrigo Borges Delfim wrote Friday for GlobalVoices.org. "Carried out with support from the UN, its name is in reference to the journalist who was killed by the Brazilian dictatorship in 1975. But this year, one of the selections generated controversy and raised questions about the social responsibility of journalistic activities.
"The work awarded in the photography category was an image captured by photographer Ronny Santos of a Haitian man taking an improvised bath on the premises of Missão Paz (Peace Mission), an organization of the Catholic church in São Paulo, in May 2015. Published in the newspapers Agora and Folha de S. Paulo, two of the largest in Brazil, the photograph stirred up indignation from immigrants and organizations involved in migratory issues.
"Soon after the photograph was published, the Missão Paz, led by the Italian priest Paolo Parise, released a letter condemning what he considered 'sensationalist journalism':
" 'Some reports take advantage of the situation to invade the privacy of others, exposing migrants without their permission in a manner in which the images of these people end up becoming a product to be commercialized in a completely inhumane way. The objective of the media in the middle of these crises is to pressure the state to take a stand, not to embarrass those who need help the most.'
"The photo was taken in a specific context: at the time, migrants from diverse nationalities — Haitians, for the most part — were streaming into Brazil through the state of Acre, on the border with Peru and Bolivia. Lacking adequate infrastructure and with little assistance from the federal government, the Acre government sent the migrants on buses to other states, among them São Paulo.
"Civil society groups that aid migrant populations in São Paulo struggled to meet the demand. The Missão Paz even needed to shelter migrants on mattresses in an auditorium due to lack of space. . . ."
A celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the weekly Bay State Banner took place in Boston Tuesday at the Sen. Edward Kennedy Institute. A video was prepared as part of the celebration. Go to:https://vimeo.com/142341608 password: bsb-2015</ul?
"Condé Nast has named Michelle Lee editor in chief of Allure," Chris O'Sheareported Wednesday for FishbowlNY. Lee previously worked as editor and [chief marketing officer] of Nylon. Lee has big shoes to fill, as she is succeeding Allure founding editor Linda Wells. . . ."</ul?
"Raina Kelley, a deputy editor at ESPN The Magazine, has been named managing editor for 'The Undefeated,' " Mac Nwulu wrote Wednesday for ESPN, "ESPN's upcoming site that will feature in-depth reporting, commentary and insight on race and culture through the lens of sports. Kelley will oversee the site's day-to-day coverage and help develop new opportunities. She will report directly toKevin Merida, ESPN Senior Vice President and editor-in-chief for 'The Undefeated.' . . ."
In the 2015 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards announced Tuesday, "Andrea K. McDaniels of The Baltimore Sun won the Gold Award in the large newspaper category for her three-part 'Collateral Damage' series which told what researchers have been learning about the impact of traumatic stress on children's health and the development of the young brain," Earl Lane reported for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "Even as shootings, stabbings, and murder trials grab the spotlight, McDaniels wrote, violence in Baltimore 'is exacting another insidious, often invisible, toll — warping the health and development of the city's youngest residents.' . . ."
To honor Joseph "Joe" Bose, a third-year journalism at Hampton University who was fatally shot at a weekend party in Norfolk, Va., the Bose family and Hampton's Scripps Howard School of Journalism & Communications are establishing the Joseph K. Bose Endowed Scholarship [PDF], Sarah King reported Monday for the Commonwealth Times of Virginia Commonwealth University. " . . . The family and dean ask to please make checks payable to 'Hampton University – Joseph K. Bose Endowed Scholarship.' Mailed to: Brett Pulley, Dean, The Scripps Howard School of Journalism & Communications, Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23663 . . ."
"After 40 years in broadcasting, FOX 13 News anchor Denise White says she has a lot to be thankful for as she prepares for retirement," WTVT-TV in Tampa reported on Monday. "Denise announced Monday that her last day would be the day before Thanksgiving. . . ."
Claritza Jiménez, who produced international news as part of the Latin America video team at Associated Press Television News, is joining the Washington Post as national video editor, the Post announced Wednesday.
Hossam Bahgat, contributor to the Cairo-based website Mada Masr, "recently published a statement on his Facebook account in which he documents the events that took place during his three-day detention by military intelligence and interrogation by military prosecution, from Sunday November 7 until his release today at Tuesday November 10 at noon," Mada Masr reported Tuesday. Bahgat's statement concluded, "I wish for freedom for the thousands of people unfairly detained in Egyptian prisons. I reassert my rejection of the criminalization of journalistic work, the use of the Penal Code to imprison journalists, and the trial of civilians in military courts."
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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.