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False Report of Police-Involved Shooting of Black Man by Fox News During Tense Times in Baltimore

Tue May 05 2015 11:10 am
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VIDEO: Fox News reporter accidentally and mistakenly reports that a black male was shot by police, and did not appear to be in good shape at all.

Fox News while reporting live from the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and North Avenue in Baltimore on Monday May 4, 2015 accidentally and mistakenly reported that police shot a black man in the midst of tense riots and protests against the police arrest of Freddie Gray that resulted in his death.

Fox News Report with Video Showing Black Man Being Transported on a Gurney to Baltimore Ambulance 74

“Well, about 2:45, we saw a guy running from the cops, here right at the intersection of North and Pennsylvania, where the uh, you know, which has been the epicenter of the unrest here. And as he was running away, that officer drew his weapon and fired and struck the individual who was running away. He was a young black male, and what we saw on the sidewalk as the crime scene unfolded there, there was a revolver laying on the ground. It looked like a six-shooter revolver uh with a long barrel. The individual who was shot — again a young black male — he was alive. They just took him off in the ambulance, but he did not look to be in good shape at all. I can’t really give you an accurate diagnosis and I could not get a look at his wound but he looked to be in bad shape. Now you have crowds responding here.”

— Fox News reporter Mike Tobin

Tobin said there was an officer standing over the revolver to prevent the crime scene from being contaminated. Tobin said he counted one gunshot. He added that medical personnel got there pretty quickly and that the cop who he assumed that fired the weapon looked like he administered first aid “to the extent that he could” and looked like he was just propping his shoulders up, and trying to keep the crowd off the individual.

VIDEO: Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith interrupts Fox News Reporter Leland Vitter on the street, who was following up on the reported gunshot, and said “What’s happened is, we screwed up.”

Apparently, the witnessing by Mike Tobin was misinterpreted and the live reporting was false. Fox News immediately apologized, and praised themselves for immediately correcting the mistake. The Baltimore Police Department that the man was spotted with a gun on their citywide closed circuit television cameras. Police said the camera(s) showed he was clearly armed with a handgun. Police responded and began to chase the man, who ran from police in a brief foot pursuit. the man pulled the handgun out or attempted to pull out the handgun when there was the sound of a weapon discharging. The police report that the police never discharged any weapons. Police secured the weapon and checked the weapon. Police said inside the revolver were three cartridge with one the cartridges spend, which means that one of the cartridges was fired.

No one was hit by the misfired bullet. The man was checked by paramedics, and told paramedics and police he did not want to go to the hospital. The man was not injured, but as a precaution, he was immediately transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

VIDEO: Baltimore Police Department Lt. Col. Melvin Russell explains that police did not fire any weapons, that the suspect’s gun misfired; but media at the street press conference then ask if the man was shot in the back and if police fired any weapons.

Fox news has been in the mix with protesters, including a live broadcast with Geraldo Rivera and a protester in a shoving match. Later, Sean Hannity praised Rivera for handling the scene well, and told Geraldo that he looked (robust) like a 20-year-old. In one interview segment, Fox News Reporter Leland Vitter told a male/black protester to go tell his mom he was on TV after the interview. Protesters have accused the media of only showing the conflicts, while ignoring the peaceful rallies.

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