Protesters interact with messages projected on the wall of a police station Jan. 17, 2015, after an anti-police-brutality march in Oakland, Calif.
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Analysis Finds Even Those Convicted Serve Little Time

"Among the thousands of fatal shootings at the hands of police since 2005, only 54 officers have been charged, a Post analysis found," a headline read above a weekend enterprise story in the Washington Post. "Most were cleared or acquitted in the cases that have been resolved."


The story by Kimberly Kindy and Kimbriell Kelly begins, "On a rainy night five years ago, Officer Coleman 'Duke' Brackney set off in pursuit of a suspected drunk driver, chasing his black Mazda Miata down rural Arkansas roads at speeds of nearly 100 miles per hour.

"When the sports car finally came to rest in a ditch, Brackney opened fire at the rear window and repeatedly struck the driver, 41-year-old James Ahern, in the back. The gunshots killed Ahern.

"Prosecutors charged Brackney with felony manslaughter. But he eventually entered a plea to a lesser charge and could ultimately be left with no criminal record.


"Now he serves as the police chief in a small community 20 miles from the scene of the shooting.

"Brackney is among 54 officers charged over the past decade for fatally shooting someone while on duty, according to an analysis by The Washington Post and researchers at Bowling Green State University. This analysis, based on a wide range of public records and interviews with law enforcement, judicial and other legal experts, sought to identify for the first time every officer who faced charges for such shootings since 2005. These represent a small fraction of the thousands of fatal police shootings that have occurred across the country in that time.

"In an overwhelming majority of the cases where an officer was charged, the person killed was unarmed. But it usually took more than that.


"When prosecutors pressed charges, The Post analysis found, there were typically other factors that made the case exceptional, including: a victim shot in the back, a video recording of the incident, incriminating testimony from other officers or allegations of a coverup.

"Forty-three cases involved at least one of these four factors. Nineteen cases involved at least two.

"In the most recent incident, officials in North Charleston, S.C., filed a murder charge Tuesday against a white police officer, Michael T. Slager, for gunning down an apparently unarmed black man. A video recording showed Slager repeatedly shooting the man in the back as he was running away.


" 'To charge an officer in a fatal shooting, it takes something so egregious, so over the top that it cannot be explained in any rational way,' said Philip M. Stinson, a criminologist at Bowling Green who studies arrests of police. 'It also has to be a case that prosecutors are willing to hang their reputation on.'

"But even in these most extreme instances, the majority of the officers whose cases have been resolved have not been convicted, The Post analysis found.

"And when they are convicted or plead guilty, they've tended to get little time behind bars, on average four years and sometimes only weeks. Jurors are very reluctant to punish police officers, tending to view them as guardians of order, according to prosecutors and defense lawyers. . . ."


Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Walter Scott Is Not on Trial

James E. Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: King says race is a factor in police shootings

Lee A. Daniels, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Facing ‘Officer Friendly’ While Black


Jarvis DeBerry, | the Times-Picayune: Black lawyers group calls for arrest of black cop seen near Walter Scott's body

Jarvis DeBerry, | the Times-Picayune: South Carolina reporter covering story of killer cop worries about his dogs

Gene Demby, NPR "Code Switch": Some Key Facts We've Learned About Police Shootings Over The Past Year


Editorial, Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.: U.S. data of police shootings needed

Editorial, Tulsa World: Time for a thorough review of Tulsa County reserve deputy program

Dylan Goforth, Tulsa World: Sheriff's Office: Reserve deputy who fired fatal shot was among 'lots of' wealthy donors in reserve program (April 7)


Juan Gonzalez, Daily News, New York: When will the killings of black males by cops cease?

The Guardian: Package of Walter Scott shooting stories

Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: A failed brake light illuminates room for improvement by a patrol officer (March 31)


Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: City moves to settle lawsuit over police-involved shooting

Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: In South Carolina, eight shots are latest, loudest sound of national police crisis

Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Video for once allows police no excuses

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: What if we didn't have video?

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Walter Scott, just an isolated incident?

James Ragland, Dallas Morning News: Police body cameras aren't just a political flashpoint


Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: A misdemeanor becomes a capital offense — again

Rick Sanchez, Fox News Latino: What if the shooting video wasn't there? Most in U.S. know the answer

Jon Swaine, the Guardian: Second officer in Walter Scott video sued over alleged attack on handcuffed man


Tulsa World: UPDATED: District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler charges reserve deputy with second-degree manslaughter

Michael W Twitty, the Guardian: Walter Scott: week by bloody week, my America is sliding back towards slavery

WFOR-TV, Miami: Dozens Of Cases Investigated By Officers In Alleged Racism Case Dropped


Schmoozing With Clinton Camp Before Big Announcement

"Now to something you won't hear anywhere else this morning, that's the Clinton's campaign private schmoozing with reporters," Brian Stelter said Sunday in introducing a segment about Hillary Clinton Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

"What's the purpose of it? And is it appropriate?

"You know, one of the unusual aspects of this impending announcement is the secrecy. Instead of [a] press release that says, 'Be here this time, and this place,' reporters started hearing leaks about a potential announcement this weekend.


"And nobody actually reported until Hunter Walker of 'Business Insider' Web site wrote a story on Thursday night.

"What's interesting, at the moment he broke the news, a lot of Hunter's rivals on [the] Hillary beat were at off the record dinner party with Clinton staffers in D.C.

"Off the record means that people who attended couldn't talk about it, couldn't write about it. So, all we really know is what was on the menu.


"Here is what 'Politico' reported. 'Thursday night, Hillary Clinton's chief of staff, John Podesta, held a private campaign with reporters at his Washington home, where he served his signature pasta puttanesca, as well as a pasta with walnut sauce, "Politico" has learned.' So, carbo loading with Clinton campaign.

"Now, there was a second gathering for other reporters on Friday night here in New York. It was also off the record, but, you know, here in RELIABLE [SOURCES], we try to peek behind the curtains. So, let me [say] what I've learned about it.

"There were some big names, here's some of them — ABC's Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, CBS' Norah O'Donnell, NBC's Savannah Guthrie, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, also MSNBC president Phil Griffin and 'Politico's' Mike Allen, a bunch of others as well, and there were half a dozen reporters from CNN in attendance.


"So, the question is, do these sorts of events compromise journalists or do they make them better at their jobs?

"Joining me to answer the question is the aforementioned Hunter Walker, politics editor for 'The Business Insider', and Glenn Thrush, senior staff writer for 'Politico.' . . ."

Clinton announced her candidacy later Sunday. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced on Monday, joining Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a contest that now sees two Cuban-Americans seeking the GOP nomination, a first for Latinos.


Nelson Balido, Fox News Latino: Ted Cruz presidential bid offers opportunity for productive debate on immigration

Jackson Connor, Huffington Post: RNC Gave Reporters Flash Drives Of 'Clinton Email Files' Ahead Of Campaign Launch

Charles D. Ellison, The Root: Will Black Folks Deliver for Hillary Clinton?

Marc Fisher, Washington Post: Cuban Americans' shifting identity, and political views, divides key bloc


Nia-Malika Henderson, CNN: Hillary Clinton's gender tightrope

David A. Love, If Hillary wants our vote, she has to start being more vocal on our issues

April Reign, Ebony: Is Hillary 'Ready' for Black Voters?

Matt Wilstein, Mediaite: CNN's Carol Costello: Why Is Hillary Courting Gay Men over 'Traditional' Ones?


Unity Plans More Events After Hearing From "Caucus"

"Two days after taking recommendations from the Diversity Caucus, the board of directors for UNITY: Journalists for Diversity voted Sunday to approve goals that called for the coalition to hold a series of regional media summits in underrepresented areas of the country," the coalition of Asian American, Native American and lesbian and gay journalists announced on Monday.

"The blueprint allows UNITY to support and [organize] summits focusing on training, media literacy, and entrepreneurial journalism in Detroit, Alabama, and on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Summits will target community members, area journalists and journalism students.


"The board, meeting at the Gannett Company headquarters, also voted to revise UNITY's mission and direct alliance presidents to explore ways individuals and corporations can join UNITY under different 'supporter' categories. In addition, presidents will develop a consistent governance policy on how new journalism alliance partners can join or rejoin UNITY and how that would shape the coalition in the future. . . ."

The announcement also said:

"Among other goals approved by the board:

"Become a resource and clearinghouse for journalists and journalism organizations, offering items like tip sheets, calendars of events and webinars.


"Create UNITY awards for the best stories on race, nationality, ethnicity, gender identity and sexual orientation; and call out media outlets for stories that reinforce stereotypes.

"Develop a system that offers support to other journalism groups that could include administrative help and legal advice."

It added, "Chicago Tribune Standards Editor Margaret Holt agreed to chair a planned regional event at Wayne State University in Detroit and Associated Press Economics Editor Tomoko Hosaka was appointed to chair a planned summit at the University of Alabama. . . ."


Asked how these efforts would be paid for, Unity President Russell Contreras said by email, "We have Ford Foundation money to pay for the regional events and we are seeking more money to expand programming. The Pine Ridge conference, for example, is being [funded] by a Ford Foundation grant and donations from journalists and [supporters]. The tribe also is donating space and food for attendees. It is very low cost."

Ford spokesman Joshua Cinelli messaged, "This is not a new grant. We indicated we would be open to having Unity use a very small amount of money remaining from an earlier grant for this program at Pine Ridge."

Mira Lowe, Storify: UNITY: Diversity Caucus 2015

Andre J. Fernandez Named President of CBS Radio

"Andre J. Fernandez has been named President of CBS RADIO, one of the nation's leading collections of major market radio stations," the network announced on Monday.


"The announcement was made by Leslie Moonves, President and CEO of CBS Corporation, to whom Fernandez will report. He begins next week and will be based in New York.

"In this role, Fernandez will oversee the direction and management of the division, which includes 117 stations in 26 major markets as well as a growing collection of digital assets. He was most recently President and Chief Operating Officer of Journal Communications, where he was responsible for the company's broadcasting and publishing assets. . . ."

The release also said, "Prior to Journal, Fernandez held a variety of financial leadership roles at the General Electric Company. Following GE/NBC's acquisition of the Telemundo Communications Group in 2001, Fernandez was named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Telemundo, where he helped steer the company to its best financial performance in history. During his tenure, Fernandez also led the acquisitions of Telemundo-RTI Studios and Tepuy International and helped create the Yahoo!Telemundo digital joint venture.


"Prior to Telemundo, Fernandez held the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Controller of GE Latin America, based in Mexico City; Chief Financial Officer of GE's Digital Energy business, based in Atlanta; Assistant Treasurer of GE Corporate Treasury and Chief Financial Officer of GE Capital Information Technology Solutions (ITS), both based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. . . . He is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese."

More Pro Athletes Seek Ways Around Sports Journalists

"NBA All-Star Kevin Durant recently took a page out [of] Marshawn Lynch's book on how to deal with the media," Evan F. Moore wrote Monday for the Shadow League.


"The soon to be free agent didn't hold back when letting media members at the NBA All-Star game know what he thought of them.

" 'You guys really don't know s—t,' Durant told reporters. 'To be honest, man, I'm only here talking to y'all because I have to. So I really don't care. Y'all not my friends. You're going to write what you want to write. You're going to love us one day and hate us the next. That's a part of it. So I just learn how to deal with y'all.'

"Fast forward to last night when Durant took to Twitter to voice his opinion on a call against teammate Russell Westbrook.


"With those comments, Durant has joined the ranks of being a contentious objector. A narrative that is picking up steam by the day. Athletes are generally at odds with sports media. Durant's comments shows that he has spent time thinking about his own brand and how he wants it perceived. He now believes that he has the leverage needed to control the narrative that will leave many sportswriters on the outside looking in. . . ."

"Black Twitter" Credited With Influencing the Mainstream

"Late last year, Meredith Clark, a professor at the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas, completed research with the goal of establishing a theoretical framework for exploring Black Twitter," Donovan X. Ramsey wrote Friday for the Atlantic.


In a question-and-answer session, Ramsey told Clark, "I'm also interested in the ways you've observed Black Twitter disrupting legacy media.

Clark, a former newspaper journalist with experience in reporting, copy editing, opinion writing and community journalism, replied, "That's probably one of the most interesting parts of the research to me, to watch how media might change the focus of the story, or make changes to their reporting, and to see some of those changes take place after there's been a big dust-up on Twitter. In my research, I can only point to some correlated things, not necessarily causes.

"But take for instance the TV writer Alessandra Stanley, who wrote about the women of Shondaland and how Viola Davis wasn't 'classically beautiful.' There was tremendous blowback on Twitter. The New York Times tried to downplay it as a mob and overblown, but they were still forced to respond. Ten years ago, the only way they would've been forced to respond would be by a massive letter-writing campaign.


"Another example was when the Times' Tanzina Vega reported on the media representation of black shooting victims and #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. If not for Black Twitter, and if not for people deciding to participate in this hashtag and in this conversation about how black victims were depicted in national news media, the Times wouldn't have that story to put on the front page of its website.

"That's response to something that people were talking about online, and the only way that you would've gotten a similar response five, 10, 15 years ago, again would be by a massive letter-writing campaign. . . ."

In "Zones of Silence," Many Censor Themselves to Stay Alive

"Enrique Juarez Torres, editorial director of El Mañana de Matamoros, a newspaper based in Matamoros, a border city [in Mexico] controlled by the Gulf Cartel, knows very well what a 'zone of silence' means," Jorge Luis Sierra, director of the Knight International Journalism Fellowships Program, reported Monday for the International Center for Journalists.


"A group of drug traffickers kidnapped him on February 4, 2015 [link in Spanish].

" 'We are going to kill you,' the kidnappers said to Juarez, targeting him for covering a wave of violence taking place in the city.

"Juarez was freed the same day, but he found the newsroom empty. Most of the reporters, editors and administrative personnel quit their jobs and left the newspaper. Now Juarez and his family are living in the U.S. He is working remotely.


"Self-censorship is commonly seen as a way journalists surrender freedom of expression, but this issue can be seen in a different light from dangerous zones in Latin America. Via murders, death threats and forced disappearances, criminal organizations and corrupt officials are creating zones of silence, where journalists face a big dilemma: risk their lives producing crime and corruption stories or censor themselves to stay alive.

"In addition to imposing silence, criminals sometimes take the extra step of forcing reporters to run stories in the criminals' interest. Drug cartels started making reporters submit certain photos and stories to their newsrooms back in 2004, when Nuevo Laredo, a city located at the US-Mexico border, became the battlefield in a fight between the Sinaloa and Zetas cartels. The editor of El Mañana de Nuevo Laredo, a major local newspaper, discovered that one of his reporters was being pressured by one criminal organization to post photos of executed members of the rival group. Since then, this trend of criminals forcing reporters to publish information has become a common practice in Mexico.

"But silence in those zones is not absolute. There is a permanent tension between forces suppressing freedom of expression and courageous reporters and editors accepting the risk to continue their work as independent journalists. . . ."


The article offers "advice for journalists working in high-risk areas, facing forces trying to impose silence and suppress freedom of expression."

Mizzou Student Says Past Exclusion of Blacks Still Apparent

"A new dean of the MU School of Journalism, David Kurpius will inherit the helm of a first-rate program at the cutting edge of teaching the profession of journalism," Kouichi Shirayanagi, a graduate student at Mizzou, wrote Friday for the Missourian in Columbia, Mo.


"The 'Missouri method' of teaching journalism by doing journalism in the school's many learning laboratories — print, online and broadcast — has a proven track record of working well. MU graduates are considered prized hires in news organizations across the country.

"The school scores well in almost every way quality can be measured in an academic program, but gets a failing grade in one category — diversity.

"Historically, not just African Americans, but every person with black skin was excluded from the Journalism School. The school, like the rest of the university, was 'integrated' by court order in the 1950s. Integration did not come voluntarily in the state of Missouri.


"While the Journalism School did change its policy to include African-American students, the undergraduate and graduate programs have never enrolled a number equal to or exceeding the ratio of African Americans in the state.

"The Missouri legislature is moving forward to recognize Lucile Bluford, the former editor and publisher of the Call, Kansas City's African-American newspaper. She was denied admission to the school in 1939 and six consecutive semesters thereafter.

"Bluford became a local civil rights icon in Kansas City for her efforts to desegregate the Journalism School. Kansas City has a library named after her, and her story is prominently displayed there.


"There is no monument to Bluford, or any African American, for that matter, in the Journalism School. That is something Kurpius will need to rectify.

"The school still suffers from a history of racial discrimination. The historical exclusion of blacks is all too apparent when looking at the demographics of today’s student body. . . ."

Why There Is No Masthead in the April Issue of Essence

You won't find a masthead in the April 2015 issue of Essence magazine, with Kelly Rowland and her family on the cover.


A reader writes why this listing of the magazine's staff makes a difference:

"For the sake of accountability, I think it's useful for the public/readers to know who is editing and managing the operation. It's useful for freelancers who want to pitch, too.

"Lastly, I'd like to think that many of the people who work there would want the recognition that comes with having their name on the masthead.


"I asked because I was curious why it wasn't there. I had also wondered if there had been staff changes they wanted to obscure or some unsettled issue concerning an employee."

Essence spokeswoman Dana Baxter offered this explanation of the missing masthead: "Whether or not a Time Inc. magazine masthead runs each month depends on a number of factors including page count, advertising and editorial needs. If you look through back issues of titles across the company, you'll see they come and go.”

Short Takes

"Indianapolis' WIBC has broadcast Rush Limbaugh's show for 22 years," Angelo Carusone wrote Monday for Media Matters for America. "Despite this long history, parent company Emmis Communications announced April 13 that they are dropping Limbaugh's show from WIBC's lineup. Charlie Morgan, an executive for Emmis, indicated that the decision to drop Limbaugh was about the 'long-term direction of the station,' but also acknowledged that there was a 'business element to the decision.' Underscoring the business considerations, Morgan explained to the Indianapolis Business Journal that the absence of Limbaugh could actually help WIBC's advertiser prospects. . . ."


"Republican lawmakers in Washington and around the country have been focused on blocking [President] Obama's agenda and denigrating him personally since the day he took office in 2009," the New York Times editorialized for the Sunday print edition. The editorial also said what many have tip-toed around: "The current offensive is slightly more subtle, but it is impossible to dismiss the notion that race plays a role in it. . . ."

"In a new report, The Society of Professional Journalists and the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, find science and environmental reporters struggle to obtain information from government agencies for their stories and often must go through a public information office (PIO) to contact subject matter experts within agencies to secure interviews," TVNewsCheck reported on Monday. It also reported, " 'This survey shows the difficulty of getting information to the public because of excessive PIO controls,' said David Cuillier, chair of SPJ's Freedom of Information Committee. 'Government gatekeepers should not be sitting in on interviews, blocking access to sources, or requiring questions be submitted in writing. It's time for federal agencies in particular to change their ways, because in the end the public loses.' . . ."

"Roxanne Garcia, who in December left NBC after 20 years with the company, is now Director of Newsgathering at CNN," Veronica Villafañe reported Friday for her Media Moves column. "Based in Atlanta, she's in charge of leading and coordinating the cable network's domestic news coverage with the bureaus across the country. She joined CNN in March. . . ."


Halimah Abdullah, who left CNN over the summer in a reorganization of its political unit, has joined as a writer/editor "responsible for coordinating the digital presence of all content, aside from politics, originating from our bureau," Ken Strickland, Washington bureau chief, wrote staffers on April 3. He added, "While Halimah begins her role Monday and will be training in New York, she will be officially joining us in DC on Monday, April 13."

Content strategist Garrett Sauls on Monday declared "No Lawyer, No Voice" his favorite among projects developed at "the nation’s preeminent hackathon focused specifically on immigration: Migrahack." Migrahack, the latest held March 20-22 at the University of Arizona at Tucson, connects "journalists, students, graphic designers, programmers and data analysts from all over the world." "No Lawyer, No Voice" "illustrated the long and agonizing journey that unaccompanied child migrants face when going through the U.S. court system. Dashboards came in both English and Spanish, and they were designed with mobile compatibility in mind. . . ."

"After 24 years at the helm of Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer has decided to retire," Ariana Romero wrote Monday for Broadcasting & Cable. "In his place at the head of the news show's roundtable will be John Dickerson, a veteran political reporter." Romero listed "the five things to know about the new face of Face the Nation."


The Tulsa World has editorialized in favor of putting Wilma Mankiller, who in 1985 became the first woman to become principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, on the $20 bill. "No one in authority has actually said they're going to take Old Hickory off the $20 bill. But, if they did, we couldn't think of a more appropriate replacement than Mankiller, a great American, a great Cherokee and a great Oklahoman," the World said on Saturday.

About 150 people joined this year's opening-day protest outside Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians Major League Baseball team, Mary Annette Pember wrote Monday for Indian Country Today Media Network. Marchers protested the name and logo, Chief Wahoo. Pember noted that although the Plain Dealer editorial board has called for the team to retire Chief Wahoo, the newspaper "continues to use the team name and logo in their daily coverage."

Despite an uproar from independent filmmakers, New York's public television station WNET still intends to reschedule its Monday prime-time first run of the documentary showcases "POV" and "Independent Lens" to its Long Island–based secondary channel WLIW, while adding a repeat Monday nights at 11 on WNET after "Downton Abbey," Adam Ragusea reported Thursday for


Inspired by a similar attention-getter at the Indianapolis Star, the Tennessean in Nashville used its entire Sunday front page for an editorial, Jim Romenesko reported Monday on his media blog. David Plazas, who joined the Tennessean in November as "lead engagement editor," said reaction was "overwhelmingly positive." Plazas is one of only three Hispanic editorial page editors at mainstream newspapers, according to the Association of Opinion Journalists.

In the Philippines, "A single gunshot ended the life of Melinda 'Mei' Magsino in Batangas, the province she covered as correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer for six years until 2005," Joanna Los Baños, Maricar Cinco and Marrah Erika Rabe reported April 14 for the Inquirer. They also wrote, "Magsino was the 32nd journalist killed in the country under the Aquino administration and the 173rd journalist murdered since 1986. . . ."

" 'Photography is not just a hobby for me. It is an actual way of life. It's not just how you hold a camera and snap a picture. It's the way that you see life and everything around you,' " Samantha Libby reported Friday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "So reads a letter written by Mahmoud Abou Zeid, an Egyptian freelance photojournalist also known as 'Shawkan,' to mark his 600th day behind bars. In the letter, which was published on Monday, Shawkan describes the physical and psychological toll that prison has taken on him, but maintains that he simply wants to be free to practice photojournalism: 'My passion is photography, but I am paying the price for my passion with my life. Without it, a part of me is missing.' . . ."