The Post Gets Played

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I don’t know Peter Hermann from a hole in the ground, but he hasn’t done a great job on the Freddie Gray story. First, he and other Post reporters missed the “lynch mob” story last week. Today, he gets made a fool of by the Baltimore Police Department with this story.

A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.

The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate’s safety.

The document, written by a Baltimore police investigator, offers the first glimpse of what might have happened inside the van. It is not clear whether any additional evidence backs up the prisoner’s version, which is just one piece of a much larger probe.

Gosh, maybe you ought to check for “additional evidence” before you run the damn story?

Jayne Miller of the Baltimore SunWBAL-TV, take it away. It’s two minutes long, and she absolutely eviscerates Peter Hermann. Watch it.

What’s going on? I give you the great Charles Pierce of Esquire Magazine. After first referring to Hermann’s article as a “sucker play,” Pierce concludes thusly:

. . . the Post story — a story that plainly is meant to drown out the cries of a community for justice, that is meant to allay the night terrors currently afflicting the folks in the suburbs, that is meant to tell a comforting story and, in the telling, take the heat off what pretty plainly is a police department gone renegade. For all the pushback against this latest report, and the pushback has been strong, the death of Freddie Gray is passing into anesthetic fiction now, the way these stories always seem to do so, when the truth is too grim to contemplate.

Let’s not let that happen here, OK? Read the Sun and ignore the Post on Freddie Gray. One publication clearly gets it, and one obviously does not.

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