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Media Recall Houston Police Raid on Alleged Drug Dealers

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video from late January/early February 2019

Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

Over the past couple of months, the dominant media have again been fixated on deadly police shootings, but only those in which black victims are killed even though only about 25 percent of police shooting victims are black.

Such misleading reporting which makes it look like police violence is nearly all focused on one racial group does a great disservice to America's law enforcement by promoting an impression of widespread racism by police officers.

If one takes the time to research some of the nearly 1,000 police killings that happen each year, it is astonishing that some cases receive little to no attention presumably because they do not fit the liberal narrative that cops discriminate against minorities.

There are two significant cases in Texas that are still developing -- one which involves a 30-year-old white woman who was shot by a cop while she was just lying in some grass with her dog, and another case in which a middle-aged white couple were killed in a botched drug raid after which the expected drugs were not found by investigators. Additionally, the lead cop in the case has been charged with murder after revelations he lied to get a search warrant.

Last January, all three broadcast networks and all three cable news networks ran the story of a drug raid in Houston in which four police officers were shot while the home's occupants -- Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas -- were killed by gunfire. But, over the next couple of weeks, after no heroin was found in the home, only the NBC Nightly News took the time to revisit the story to inform viewers of the illegally obtained search warrant after the lead cop, Gerald Goines, changed his story and claimed he had bought drugs at the house instead of getting an informant to do it.

In August, when Goines was charged with murder while his partner was charged for helping to cover for him, only the CBS Evening News revisited the story, giving it a mere 32 seconds on August 23.

Most recently, last week, the Houston Chronicle reported that a second examination of the crime scene has led the investigator to dispute the police account that the couple had attacked the officers when they entered the home.

The developing story has also been covered by the Washington Post, the New York Times, and NPR.

As for the other case, in Arlington, Texas, Margarita Brooks was lying in some grass near a shopping center in August when someone called 911, thinking she might have fainted from the heat. The first officer to arrive, Ravi Singh, who was wearing a body camera which partially picked up the tragedy, asked her if she was okay and then started firing his gun when her dog ran toward him.

Brooks can be heard screaming, "The police shot me!" after the officer accidentally shot her in the chest. It was just several days ago that the officer in the case, who may face charges, resigned from his job.

Meanwhile, in recent months, the media have given substantial attention to the tragice cases of former Dallas cop Amber Guyger shooting her neighbor, Botham Jean; and, more recently, police officer Dean shooting :Atatiana Jefferson in her own home.

MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell obnoxiously called such killings "an American problem," and MSNBC's Katy Tur suggested the race of the victims was the only reason they were killed.

Relevant transcripts follow:

#August 23 CBS Evening News:

MAJOR GARRETT, FILL-IN HOST: And we have breaking news in Houston. A former police officer there is charged with murder in connection with a botched drug raid -- a raid police say never should have happened. Prosecutors say the now ex-cop, Gerald Goines, lied to obtain a search warrant on a home that he said belong to heroin dealers. But officers found no heroin when they raided the place in January. A gun battle broke out, a couple was killed, and five officers were injured, including Goines. Goines is also under investigation for allegedly stealing guns, drugs and money,

#February 15 NBC Nightly News:

LESTER HOLT: There are new troubling details in another story we've been following -- the deadly police raid shootout in Houston last month. Now, there are some new questions over whether police lied to break into the home. NBC's Gabe Gutierrez has that story.

GABE GUTIERREZ: It was a stunning shootout during an apparent drug raid that left two suspects dead and five officers injured. But tonight, there are troubling questions about how it all started.

ART ACEVEDO, HOUSTON POLICE CHIEF: There's a lot of pissed off cops right now -- a lot of angry cops. 

GUTIERREZ: A new police affidavit reveals investigators haven't been able to find any confidential informants whose tips had supposedly led to the raid. None of the informants have identified the couple that was killed in the shootout as drug dealers. One informant says he did buy heroin, but at a house five miles away. Houston police chief Art Acevedo now says it appears an undercover officer involved lied and will likely face charges.

JIM CAVANAUGH, NBC NEWS ANALYST: What this sounds like is the officer believed there was activity there, did not have probable cause, did not want to work to get probable cause, so he manufactured the probable cause by creating a false buy from an informant that didn't exist, and lied to the court to get the warrant. It's outrageous criminal conduct.

GUTIERREZ: Tonight, police are investigating whether what was thought to be a heroic shootout was really a botched raid.

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