LETTER: Article on police shooting lacks context

This letter focuses on one section of the article, Police board offers letter of support to VicPD amid ‘defund the police’ movement, posted on vicnews.com on Sept. 12.

Ms. Grossman writes, “Calls to defund police forces came after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black North Americans. More recently, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.”

This is an example of media bias by omission, and it is interesting that the editor did not correct this. Grossman provides no context for the Jacob Blake shooting by police and a reader might believe that police shot Blake without justification. Here is the context. From USA Today on Sept. 3: “At the time of the Aug. 23 shooting, Blake had a warrant out for his arrest for a case filed in July in Kenosha County. According to a criminal complaint, Blake allegedly entered the house of a woman he knew in the early hours of the morning, sexually assaulted her and then took a debit card and car keys before fleeing in her vehicle. Blake is charged in that pending case with felony third-degree sexual assault, and misdemeanor trespassing and disorderly conduct.” The criminal complaint against Jacob Blake: https://archive.is/YcYRU.

Blake’s interaction with the alleged victim prompted her to call the police. According to the New York Post on Aug. 26, the police knew Blake had a warrant for his arrest. Blake did not comply with lawful orders given by the police. He struggled with them, broke free and police used a taser on him twice which failed to subdue him. He went to the driver side of his vehicle and reached inside. At this time the police suspected he might have a weapon in the vehicle. An officer attempted and failed to pull Blake back from the vehicle. At this point Blake reached into his vehicle and at this point the police shot him. It was later confirmed that Blake had a knife in the vehicle. Here is the Kenosha Police Union’s summary of the interaction: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/jacob-blake-shooting-kenosha-police-union-releases-new-details/. Note that the reports from the New York Post and Kenosha Police Union differ slightly but both confirm that Jacob Blake had or had access to a weapon.

This is a case when context matters and Ms. Grossman and the VicNews editor provide none. In today’s volatile environment context and truth matter.

Grant Giles

Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drive up voting is popular with Victoria-Swan Lake voters at the Craigflower elementary polling station. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Drive up voting popular at Craigflower polling station in Victoria-Swan Lake

Nearly 13,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Victoria-Swan Lake riding

Oak Bay High voting station was slow and steady for the provincial election day, Oct. 24, 2020. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Early voting reduces election day turnout in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

An estimated 15,918 mail-in ballots requested in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

This was the line-up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre at around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The short-up line speaks to the high number of votes, which have already been cast against the backdrop of COVID-19 by mail or in advanced voting. Voters, however, unanimously praised the safety measures in place, as well the convenience of the polling stations. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
‘Slow’ turnout at polls across Saanich North and the Islands

Peter Mason, district electoral officer, expects about 10,000 ballots to be cast

Polls close at 8 p.m. in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding. (Katherine Engqvist/News Staff)
VIDEO: Esquimalt-Metchosin candidates reflect on campaign as polls close

An estimated 12,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the Esquimalt-Metchosin riding

Barb Wright and Cynthia Vance at the District Electoral Office for the Langford-Juan de Fuca (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Polls now closed in Langford-Juan de Fuca

An estimated 12,120 mail-in ballots were requested in the Langford-Juan de Fuca riding

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read