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What CNN Didn’t Tell Its Audience About the Police Shooting of Dexter Reed Jr.

Posted on | April 10, 2024 | Comments Off on What CNN Didn’t Tell Its Audience About the Police Shooting of Dexter Reed Jr.

Tuesday afternoon, CNN launched their election-year “let’s start a race riot” campaign, showing newly released police bodycam video of the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Dexter Reed. As I watched the coverage — featured hourly — I knew that the last-place news network wasn’t giving its viewers the whole story. And this could not be an accidental omission, because the most important facts were easily discovered in other media accounts, which anyone could find with Google, e.g.:

The man Chicago police leaders say was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police officers during a traffic stop [March 21] was on pretrial release for a pending felony gun charge, according to court records.
Dexter Reed, 26, was arrested on July 13 after Chicago cops said they found him in possession of a firearm in the 1800 block of West Warren. Police responded to a call of a person with a gun at the Windy City Smokeout, an annual barbecue event, and found Reed armed with a handgun, according to his arrest report.
Prosecutors charged him with aggravated unlawful use of a firearm the next day. Later, a grand jury returned a true bill charging him with three counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, including possessing a firearm in a vehicle, and possession of a firearm with a revoked Firearm Owner’s ID card, court records show.

Reed was arrested more than eight months before his fatal encounter with police. Why does it take so long to prosecute criminals in Chicago? But this question wasn’t asked on CNN, nor did any of the network’s talking heads make mention of the neighborhood in which Reed died in a shootout with police. The five officers who reportedly fired 96 shots at Reed were members of “the 11th District tactical unit,” a designation that would lead any curious reporter to ask a couple of obvious questions: What is the 11th District, and what does this “tactical unit” do?

Do you see that dark brown area on the west side of the city, north of I-290? That’s the 11th District, also known as the Harrison district, and it is home to some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago, which is to say, the 11th District is arguably the most dangerous place in America. It was in the 11th District — specifically the Humboldt Park neighborhood, near the intersection of West Ferdinand Street and Hamlin Avenue — that Reed died in a shootout with the cops.

CBS affiliate WBBM-TV in Chicago asked the important questions:

CBS 2 asked [former Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. Anthony] Riccio whether tactical units — which typically respond rapidly to crime hotspots and serious crimes in progress, such as an officer down — usually perform traffic stops like the one involved in this case.
“Obviously, something attracted them to him, and the tactical teams are really the guys who work in the districts, and go out, and really look for the hardcore bad guys; the guys with the guns,” Riccio said. “We know Mr. Reed was carrying a gun unlawfully in his vehicle — and, you know, what was his intention?”

This is where the story being told just doesn’t quite add up. We are being told that Reed was pulled over for a seat belt violation, but you’re going to use a five-officer tactical team for this? No, despite what officials are saying, there must have been something else that brought Reed to the attention of these cops. Had he been under surveillance? Did his car match the description of a vehicle involved in a neighborhood crime? Or did the police run his tag number through their computer, see the pending weapons charge on his record and figure it was likely that he was still illegally armed? That strikes me as the most likely scenario, but the larger point is this — if you want to stop violent crime, you have to send cops into neighborhoods like Humboldt Park, where most of the criminals live and most of the crime happens.

Don’t give me none of your noise about “racial profiling.” Approximately 78% of homicide victims in Chicago are black, and nearly all of them are killed by other black people. So if you want to stop black people from being murdered in Chicago, you’re going to have to focus on getting black criminals off the street. Dexter Reed was awaiting trial on gun charges, and the terms of his pretrial release would prohibit him from possessing a weapon. Ergo, the cops had good reason to be investigating Reed, who happened to be carrying a pistol. He opened fire on the cops, emptying the 11-round magazine, then left the gun in the car and tried to make a run for it. He did not run far, and he won’t be running anymore.

Nobody on CNN is going to make these facts clear. We do not yet have any confirmed explanation of how this “tactical unit” zeroed in on Reed, but I’m not buying that alibi about a seat belt violation. What we do know is that Reed already had pending weapons charges, and was not legally permitted to have a gun, which was the proximate cause of his death. Nearly 600 people have been shot so far this year in Chicago, including 109 fatal shootings, and there ought to be some sympathy for the cops whose job it is to try to keep Chicago from spiraling out of control.

CNN is just trying to stoke outrage — clearly with the idea of “energizing” the black community to vote for Joe Biden — and if we get another summer of riots like 2020, we’ll know who to blame.

UPDATE: You can watch video of the shooting here.


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