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NBC aired misleading reports on a former Houston police officer during stories covering a history of questionable actions by law enforcement.
NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk was reporting on Gerald Goines, a former Houston Police Department Officer who was arrested and charged with murder last August, when she appeared to suggest that the “overwhelming majority” of the defendants in his arrests — including the couple in the murder charge — were African-Americans.
(Source: NBC via MRC)
“In some cases involving police violence, there is a disconnect between what officers say happened and what the evidence later shows. As NBC’s Stephanie Gosk tells us, it’s happened enough, there’s even a word for it,” anchor Lester Holt said on NBC Nightly News.
“Before the video went public, there was a statement from police — George Floyd’s death described as a ‘medical incident during a police interaction.’ But that wasn’t the full picture,” Gosk reported.
The reporter was referring to suggestions that while Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes during an arrest last month, might have been strong-armed in to pleading guilty in a drug crime when he was living in Houston in 2004.
“Now, a revelation out of Houston that this was not Floyd’s first experience with an officer who would later be accused of police misconduct,” Gosk continued. “In 2004, Floyd pleaded guilty to selling less than a gram of cocaine. As part of a deal, he served 10 months in jail. The officer who arrested him, Gerald Goines, was the only witness.”
But though Gosk went on to note the charges against Goines and the pending trial, she failed to give any details about the case or the victims.
“Now, that officer himself is charged with murder and lying in a different case. Goines pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial — 14,000 cases are under review — 164 may ultimately be dismissed, according to the DA’s office,” she reported.
“All of the defendants are minorities, and the overwhelming majority are African Americans. The DA’s office says Floyd’s case resembles others where it appears Officer Goines may have lied,” Gosk said.
The former officer was actually accused of lying to get a no-knock search warrant against the couple, Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, who were both white and suspected of drug dealing, though no evidence was found in the home where they were shot and killed by police.
The Media Research Center noted that, without the racial hype to drive the story as the victims were white, the major networks barely covered the incident. Though “NBC Nightly News” did cover it last November, the report was a mere one and a half minutes long.
But the misleading reporting in Goines’ record was not limited to the NBC programming last week. MSNBC followed suit on the very same day as “The Beat” covered the issue of no-knock warrants.
Reporting on the decision against the police measure in Louisville, Kentucky, after the death of Breonna Taylor during a raid in her home, fill-in host Ayman Mohyeldin also referred to the Goines case, emphasizing that “all” of the “defendants are people of color.”
(Source: MSNBC via MRC)
“And we’ve seen this controversial police measure turn deadly in other cities. In fact, Houston prohibited no-knock warrants after two civilians were killed in a fatal drug raid there,” Mohyeldin said.
“The officer in that case — he lied in the affidavit on the warrant in just the same way we heard Cal (Perry) say it happened in Louisville. Now, Houston is expecting to overturn more than 100 cases tied to that officer,” he continued.
“All — listen to what I’m about to say — all of those defendants are people of color. One of them, George Floyd,” Mohyeldin added.
“That officer who has since been charged with murder — was the sole witness when he arrested Floyd years ago when he allegedly provided him with cocaine,” he said. “The Harris County district attorney saying it is, quote, “not just a coincidence but a product of a systemic problem in the way drug enforcement occurs.'”
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