Protesters gathered outside the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Monday in opposition of the paper’s coverage of events happening in Ferguson.
The activists stood outside the building dressed as old-time newsies and passed out mock-up papers yelling, “Extra, extra. Read all about it. Post-Dispatch changes its name to Post-Disgrace.”
The group said they are tired of the newspaper printing inaccuracies, pointing to the most recent article on Michael Brown’s autopsy that was written by crime reporter Christine Byers and medical news reporter Blythe Bernhard.
For that story, Bernhard called San Francisco-based forensic pathologist Judy Melinek asking her to analyze Michael Brown’s official autopsy report as prepared by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner, Dr. Michael Graham.
“I read the report, and spent half an hour on the phone with the reporter explaining Michael Brown’s autopsy report line-by-line, and I told her not to quote me – but that I would send her quotes she could use in an email,” Melinek wrote in her recent blog post. “The next morning, I found snippets of phrases from our conversation taken out of context in her article in the Post-Dispatch. These inaccurate and misleading quotes were picked up and disseminated by other journals, blogs, and websites.”
The reporters quoted Melinek as saying that the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”
Melinek said she said didn’t say he was going for the gun. She said, “The hand wound has gunpowder particles on microscopic examination, which suggests that it is a close-range wound. That means that Mr. Brown’s hand would have been close to the barrel of the gun.” […] When the first protestors arrived at 11 a.m., a security guard told them to, “get the f**k off our property.” Police, who came to patrol the protest, allowed them to stay on the sidewalk.
Protesters cited the misleading quotes as just one of many complaints they have with how the paper is reporting on the Michael Brown case. The activist accuse Byers of tweeting false information that favored the police regarding eyewitness accounts.
Black lives, and accurate portrayals of black people are more important now than ever.
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