Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Police Abolitionist Story Was False

7/21/20 The Federalist:

“We called 911 for almost everything except snitching” reads the first line of an Atlantic article, “How I Became a Police Abolitionist,” by social justice activist and lawyer Derecka Purnell. Her deeply personal essay, first published July 6 in the Ideas section, tells of her childhood in a polluted neighborhood surrounded by violence and beset by fear, using one particularly disturbing memory of a police officer shooting their cousin, just a “boy,” in the arm for skipping the basketball sign-in sheet in front of Purnell and her sister, who had been playing basketball but were forced to hide “in the locker room for hours afterward.”

“When people dismiss abolitionists for not caring about victims or safety,” she writes, “they tend to forget that we are those victims, those survivors of violence.”

“This story means everything to me,” Purnell wrote on Facebook later that day. “I cried a lot while writing it.”

An investigation by The Federalist encompassing newspaper archives, police department records, questions to The Atlantic, the police union, and the office of the mayor, however, called the story — including facts about the neighborhood, the timeline of the incident, and if the incident described even happened at all — into question.

Four days, six comment requests, and one follow-up story later, The Atlantic issued a series of major corrections that confirmed The Federalist’s investigation — and gutted the Purnell’s story of the police violence that made her “a police abolitionist,” rendering it a story about a private security guard shooting his adult cousin. Although the updated story no longer involves personally motivated and barely punished police violence against children, it now includes mention of a police investigation. Additionally, a contemporary news article uncovered by The Federalist using the updated timeline details pending police charges against the shooter.

The left has, as usual, an integrity problem. 

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