I was very hesitant to cover this as a "journalist". Ten years ago I watched the preeminent "journalists" in their field parrot obvious lies from the White House as it prepared an invasion of Iraq, and this was not an exception, but the rule. This is modern journalistic "objectivity": lies are equal to truth, because its all just a matter of perspective. The callousness with which the journalist covers the horrors of the world cultivates a dispassionate removal from the situation in its readers. Human suffering becomes just so many facts to memorize and recite, until it happens to you of course. Readers learn that events are far too complex for them to understand beyond sad expressions of powerlessness like "The grief-stricken community of X asks how could this happen?" History becomes an endless stream of particular events with no intrinsic connection to each other. To disagree with this is to have a "perspective", which is no better than any other "perspective" (except of course for the Official Source, which always gets the last word in the story). But the erstwhile journalist, as they will righteously inform you, has no "perspective"--only the fundamental tenets of bourgeois liberal democracy (a political perspective!), which prefigure their conception of "neutrality", and reveal its absurdity.
I'd been down to Flatbush a few times but this time just felt wrong. I was surrounded by reporters and photographers from all the New York outlets, scribbling furiously in their notepads or snapping pictures. I saw photographers from the New York Post snapping away, smiling. I imagined the racist garbage that would be written next to their award-winning shots and wondered if it bothered them. I pictured every reporter at this demonstration witnessing the same thing I witnessed and concluding in their writing that "at the end of the day this is a complex situation and everyone has their own perspective and you may as well just stop thinking about it, buy something from one of our advertisers, and vote for a Democrat in November." Was I one of these people? The thought was unbearable to me and I vowed to never write about politics again as a "journalist". I filed the story nervously and found it slightly edited ("murdered" became "shot", fair enough... and my original title can still be found in the URL) but mostly intact.
And at once, to my immense relief, one of the reader comments paid me the ultimate compliment:
Regardless of how you feel, this is really shitty, slanted reporting. You can't call this News. This is an editorial filled with conjecture and in every graph it attempts to shape the reader's mind on not only the Gray shooting, but the NYPD in general. Even though I side with Gray and against the NYPD after reading up on the facts, I'm disgusted by this shoddy Journalism.
Off the hook... for now.