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Media Makes Boy Who Is Aspiring LEO Seem Violent

Media Makes Boy Who Is Aspiring LEO Seem Violent

Video Screen Capture

Media ITE via YellowBrix

August 01, 2011

CHICAGO – Chicago CBS affiliate WBBM has issued an apology after taking the comments of a four-year-old child out of context in relation to a shooting in the area. The child tells a reporter that the shootings don’t scare him and that, when he grows up, “I’m going to have me a gun.” This makes the child seem to aspire to commit shootings himself, but it was taken out of context– the boy expected to have a gun because he wants to be a police officer.

The story in question involved a drive-by shooting in the area, and several locals were on about whether they were fearful of future attacks. The four-year-old in question responded “I’m not scared of nothing,” and when asked if he would stay away from guns, retorted “I’m going to have me a gun!” And that’s where the original broadcast ends. The next line that was conveniently omitted? “I’m going to be police!”

The Maynard Institute rounded up the outrage in the academic community about portraying a four-year-old black boy as a “gangbanger in waiting”– and the NAACP reacted to the piece with disgust. NAACP President Ben Jealous noted in a recorded statement that his first reaction to the video was wondering where the child’s parents were, but later called the inclusion of that clip without context “disturbing,” both as an NAACP president and as a former journalist.

It didn’t take long for the WBBM to respond, and immediately apologize for the gaffe. Gawker has the apology from the station:

“We accept responsibility for the mistakes that were made, both in the reporting and editing of the story. The video of the child should not have aired. As soon as news management identified the problem, they took immediate steps to ensure that the video would not air in subsequent newscasts. In addition, we have followed up with our employees to make sure that we all have learned from the mistakes that were made.”

It’s entirely unclear whether the “follow up with our employees” included pink slips, but as far as media spin goes, it doesn’t get much worse than making a four-year-old look bloodthirsty.

The video below is divided into three segments: The original WBBM report as it aired, the full footage of the child saying he wanted to be a police officer, and the statement from NAACP President Ben Jealous:


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  • On_the_job_002_max50

    kaalima

    almost 2 years ago

    1748 Comments

    If a kid, coming out of inner city chicago say he wants to be police officer, he should be praised !! The media just needs to relax !! C'mon, he's four !! It's not like he wants to be a gangsta disciple. Shame on you media !!

  • 528023_102337096569592_196671668_n-1_max50

    AlexaBlair21

    almost 2 years ago

    52 Comments

    Skrew the media. I know they hit below the belt, but a 4 year old?!? What the heck

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Shanex429

    about 2 years ago

    4 Comments

    That is bullshit, the media does the same thing a thousand times over, abiding to stereo types, and making things appear in a way that will get rile up the most attention from the general public.

  • 377132_2722349828419_1547293104_32657423_241047505_n_max50

    MrsK9_86

    about 2 years ago

    18 Comments

    Ugh...I agree with eli4se

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    mpgiebitz

    about 2 years ago

    38 Comments

    The badge is waiting kid.

  • Snapshot_20111212_9_max50

    true_leo_mama

    about 2 years ago

    160 Comments

    Go get em tiger!

  • Me_max50

    eli4se

    over 2 years ago

    100 Comments

    Poor boy already labeled as a gangbanger.

  • 41aimo1g97l__sx355__max50

    Bravo226

    over 2 years ago

    48 Comments

    Is anyone bothered by the fact that the reporter was interviewing a four year old about such a serious situatuin in the first place. This does not seem like responsible journalism to me.

  • Img00009_max50

    chpprsinc

    over 2 years ago

    398 Comments

    you go buddy, clean up them streets!

  • Bayou_032_max50

    UNIT111D

    over 2 years ago

    478 Comments

    Good job little guy.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    symbolpeace

    over 2 years ago

    98 Comments

    too bad the media can be our enemy in situations like this, anybody taking time for occassional visits to assist in his ideals ? maybe even help him see who the bad guys are and arent ?, 4 yers old ? young but in this instance no better time than the present

  • Grad_08_044_max50

    depgomez

    over 2 years ago

    692 Comments

    Typical media response. Go get em kid

  • Me_aloof_1_max50

    lilweir09

    over 2 years ago

    126 Comments

    Good Luck little guy!! You're gonna do great!

  • Cuffs_badge_gun_1__max50

    revcarey70

    over 2 years ago

    234 Comments

    Way to go little buddy!

  • Herosonpatrol_max50

    BeachAngel

    over 2 years ago

    5668 Comments

    Darn media. Wish more little ones felt this way, future LEO/Chief, etc. awesome! :)

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