THE BLOG
07/17/2013 09:01 am ET

Beyond Trayvon

Salon.com post from July 16th, New Trayvon lie: Media, LAPD falsely report "rowdy" protests reports that "Despite reporting to the contrary from both Los Angeles' NBC affiliate and the Los Angeles Police Department, Trayvon Martin protesters in Hollywood on Sunday night neither "stormed" nor caused "about $15,000 worth of damage" at a local hotel."

There was no violence or property destruction when the march moved through the breezeway at the W Hotel in Los Angeles Sunday night. I shot the entire thing on video. This is not anomalistic in Los Angeles; it's how law enforcement and media operate here. The police regularly provoke, escalate and make arrests when people protest in the streets of Los Angles. The media misrepresent facts by isolating a supposed violent or hostile fraction of a protest, that no one besides them can confirm, as in the above mentioned Salon.com post. As a journalist shooting and writing about cops in L.A. for over a decade, I am constantly appalled but never shocked by the incestuous relationship between law enforcement and media and the propaganda the collectively produce.

Sunday's protest of the Zimmerman verdict sent people into the streets of Los Angeles to express their First Amendments rights. They were met with police intimidation and violence. CNN video reported that the Trayvon Martin march in Los Angeles was interrupted by protestors throwing batteries, rocks and chunks of concrete, and a separate gathering on the 10 Freeway shut down traffic.

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Missing from CNN's coverage was that protesters posted up at the front door of their offices on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood at which point a line of riot cops blocked the entrance, though no one was trying to enter. One person knocked over a garbage can and someone else set it back where it was. It was a small group. There was no violence, unless you include LAPD officers with batons facing unarmed women and men and shooting non-lethal projectiles into the crowd at close proximity.

Beyond the polarizing effects of the Zimmerman verdict, the lack of truth in media is glaring. Perhaps this one, at the doorstep of CNN, was a little too close to home for Time Warner. Apparently a rally that honors the death of an unarmed, black teenager doesn't warrant a fact check from CNN.