Monday, March 23, 2015

"Reconsidering My August Post on Ferguson and ‘Conflicting Accounts’"

Opining without full knowledge of the facts is hard:

In the heat of a very hot news moment last summer, I criticized a Times story about the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I want to acknowledge that I misjudged an important element of that story.


Giving implicit credence to the named sources who described Michael Brown as having his hands up as he was fired on by Officer Darren Wilson, I criticized the use of unnamed sources who offered opposing information: They said that the officer had reason to fear Mr. Brown. I even went so far as to call those unnamed sources “ghosts” because readers had so little ability to evaluate their identity and credibility.
Somewhat relatedly, here's Last Week Tonight's episode on the type of crushing fines used in Ferguson: