Is the Media Burying the Ethnicity of the Cop Who Shot Philando Castile?

By Amber Randall

Major media outlets buried the alleged Asian ethnicity of the cop who shot a black man in Minnesota Wednesday night, after featuring or even highlighting the ethnicity of the white cop who shot a black man in Louisiana just a day earlier.

In their coverage of the Louisiana shooting, major media outlets quickly identified the cop as white, even going so far as to put his race in the headline of one story. But while covering the Minnesota shooting, media outlets buried the fact that the woman who witnessed the shooting identified the cop as Asian.

Here’s a side by side comparison of how major media outlets treated the race of these two cops:

In regard to the Louisiana shooting, The Washington Post ran the headline: “Outrage After Video Captures White Baton Rouge Police Officer Fatally Shooting A Black Man.” But when the same outlet covered the Minnesota shooting, the cop’s ethnicity was only referenced about half way through their story.

ABC ran an article that identified the cop in the Louisiana shooting as white in the beginning of the story. In their coverage of the Minnesota shooting, however, the police officer’s alleged ethnicity is buried half-way down the article.

NBC also identified the cops in the Louisiana shooting as white in the lead paragraph of their article. But when discussing the Minnesota shooting, NBC ran an article in which the Reynold’s ethnicity statement is not mentioned at all.

The Wall Street Journal took seven paragraphs in an article they featured to identify the cop in the Minnesota shooting as “Asian-American.” By comparison it took four paragraphs to identify the cop as white in the Louisiana shooting.

The New York Times’ article on the Minnesota shooting only identified the cop as Asian until mid-way through the story as well. But their coverage on the Louisiana shooting identified the cop as white five paragraphs into the article.

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