This was Bill Smith. He was a former Deputy Chief of Operations for the DeKalb County, Georgia Fire Department and went on to become an Alabama Sheriff’s Deputy. Smith died last Sunday while successfully rescuing three drowning swimmers off Fort Morgan Peninsula in Alabama. He was only 57.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution put this story on page B3 of their print edition. What was on the front page? A big running banner touting the latest grotesquely misrepresented, anti-cop story of the day: Georgia State Patrol Trooper involved in Deadly Shooting. Of course, the banner headline said nothing about why the trooper was chasing the man, or that the criminal had just killed one woman and shot another.
I take back what I said about the AJC getting better about covering crime and policing issues. I’m looking at you, Bill Torpy.
Torpy, who can be humane to police sometimes, also recently ran a very disappointing and accusatory and personal-smeary editorial last week titled Fear is the Greatest Motivator in Buckhead Cityhood Movement. Gee, ya think? Atlanta, including Buckhead, is littered with dead bodies, suffering families, and people who have lost loved ones, yet you have the gall to tell them to sit down, shut up, and keep those tax dollars flowing into the giant hole that is Atlanta. Make funeral plans instead of taking action to protect you and yours, is Torpy’s message to fed-up residents of Buckhead. To quote that weird little IKEA-looking Northern European environmentalism obsessive, how dare you?
Please, Bill, don’t become the next Maoist re-education camp-rules enforcer like Maureen Downey, tattling on anyone who deviates from the Glorious Revolution.
After actual subscribers, what the AJC needs most is nuance. People like Downey and Torpy — and spineness “conservative” columnist Kyle Wingfield should take a long, hard look in the mirror before they publish another steaming pile of ignore the violent criminal behind the curtain thing like this again. Why shouldn’t the residents of Buckhead (and police looking for jobs where they will be appreciated rather than defamed and attacked) leave Atlanta, especially considering Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom’s deadly and relentless demonization of police?
Atlanta’s City Council is overrun with one radical anti-cop activist after another, all trying up the next one. Meanwhile, children like Secoria Turner are gunned down because Mayoress Keisha is too busy flipping the sofa cushions looking for the next well-paying non-job to not show up for, while decent, moral, smart, committed, patient, practically saint-like peacemakers like Councilwoman Carla Smith are leaving — I presume worn out by decades of trying to make things better for everyone.
Of course, the Atlanta Journal Constitution also ran no banner explaining that the suspect being chased by the trooper was wanted for the murder of one woman and attempted murder of another. There was this shameful, single C-Y-A article later: “GBI identifies murder suspect fatally shot by GSP trooper on I-285.” No banner, though. And the cover-up story STILL focuses more on the “officer-involved-shooting” angle than on the actual crimes committed by the actual killer. Who shot one of the cops, you will find, if you bother to read all the way to the bottom of the piece.
This is how it goes now. Cops risk their lives: the media buries the evidence. Some journalists ought to be charged as accessories to crime, given the mayhem their biased reporting/non-reporting has egged on.
Meanwhile, WSB, the Atlanta radio station which is also the biggest station in the south, and which is usually a bit better on crime and policing, ran a story today about an arrestee charged with aggravated assault who hung himself with his shoelaces. The graphic they used for the story was a cop’s shield covered with the black/blue/black stripe, the sacred image used when a cop is killed on the job, not when the job screws five cops because an inmate offed himself, which the police involved probably feel terrible about. Below this visual perversion, WSB ran a biased article offering only one side of the story, as usual.
The blue and black band is a sacred image for commemorating police who made the ultimate sacrifice to the job. I guess WSB, and their reporter Russ Bynam don’t give a damn. They have already been informed about the inappropriateness of using this image, and as of this writing they have not changed the image.
AMENDED: THEY REPLACED THE PICTURE. THANK YOU, WSB.
AMENDED: THEY REPLACED THE PICTURE. THANK YOU, WSB.
Meanwhile, I need to add this. As I was searching for details about Deputy Bill Smith’s heroic actions, I waded through dozens of article about police and ex-police and firemen who drowned saving others. There was Worcester Officer Enmanuel “Manny” Familia, 38 and a father of two, who died trying to save a fourteen-year-old boy two weeks ago.
I could go on, but I won’t. It’s time for the media to step up and report these things in little rolling banners across their front pages, instead of using that space exclusively to pander to the worst criminals out there.