Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
Is the media trying to get Ferguson police office Darren Wilson lynched?
CNN broadcast a report Friday that showed the house, including the street number, of the Ferguson police officer who police say shot Mike Brown. The officer has been in hiding due to death threats since the shooting last Saturday. His name, Darren Wilson, was just released Friday morning.
Another news outlet apologized for broadcasting video of Wilson’s home while others have virtually drawn a map to Wilson’s house for those bent on vengeance.
Yahoo News named the community Wilson where Wilson resides and published a photograph of the officer.
The UK Daily Mail also named the community, posted photos of the officer and gave a description of the house.
USA Today also named the community and reported a local police presence.
The Washington Post named the street where Wilson lives.
In the video report, CNN reporter Ed Lavandera is seen walking in the street where Wilson lives. The CNN video shows a wide view of Wilson’s house and then pans around the street to show its relative position in the neighborhood. While Lavandera does not name the street, he gives its approximate location.
Every news report says neighbors told them Wilson has not been home for several days.
A version of the video being aired by CNN affiliate Newschannel 13 in Orlando, Florida (and likely other affiliates around the country including the St. Louis market) shows a brief close-up of the house number by the front door such that someone could freeze and enlarge the image to get the address.
The version of the report available online at CNN has that footage edited and replaced with a close-up of a front window of Wilson’s house.
St. Louis TV station KSDK, which like USA Today is owned by Gannett, issued an apology Saturday afternoon for broadcasting video of Wilson’s home.
“Yesterday KSDK showed the video of the Ferguson Police Officer’s home in our 5 p.m. news but did not mention the address of the home. KSDK immediately felt using that video was a mistake and pulled the video of the home from future newscasts and from our web site. We have not used the video since then and do not intend to do so. We apologize to our audience, to the surrounding neighborhoods, to the greater St.Louis community and to the officer for our mistake.”
CNN’s video is still available online while Newschannel 13 is repeating the report on the hour as of this writing.
A local newspaper named the street where Wilson lives, adding that the area high school closed and sent students home when Wilson’s name was made public. Local police reportedly monitored the streets to ensure the safety from any potential lynch mob of the school kids heading home.
In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting George Zimmerman had to go in to hiding even though he had not been charged with a crime. Additionally, his parents were forced to flee their home as the lynch mob threatened them too. Incorrect addresses for the Zimmermans were sent out on social media forcing others to flee in terror for fear of being mistaken for the Zimmermans.
Who would have guessed that mob rule would be the rule in 21st Century America?