CNN Apologizes For Censoring The ‘Burn Down The Suburbs’ Remarks

CNN has issued an apology for what many have called a deceptively or selectively edited story involving the Milwaukee police shooting victim’s sister and her peacemaking public comments following riots in that city.

In her coverage, CNN correspondent Ana Cabrera originally claimed on Monday that Sherelle Smith, the sister of police shooting victim Sylville K. Smith, was calling for peaceful protests during a Sunday vigil in the aftermath of the death of her brother who reportedly was fleeing a traffic stop. Sylville Smith died at the scene.

In the full context of her remarks that CNN left out, however, Smith apparently seemed to be advocating for the unrest to be exported outside the city limits, as the Inquisitr previously reported.

“Burning down s**t ain’t going to help nothin! Y’all burnin’ down s**t we need in our community. Take that s**t to the suburbs. Burn that s**t down! We need our sh*t! We need our weaves. I don’t wear it. But we need it. We need our gas. We need our food. Y’all don’t understand that sh*t. We need that. Y’all want to hurt somebody, take that sh*t further out.”

“Violence erupted in Milwaukee on Saturday following the shooting of 23-year-old Sylville Smith. Police say he had a gun in his hand when he turned toward the officer, who opened fire. His sister, Sherelle Smith, spoke to reporters Sunday, calling for peace in the city, saying ‘don’t bring the violence here and the ignorance here’ before suggesting people should take the violence to the suburbs. A report that aired on CNN on Monday only included Smith condemning the violence,” AP explained about what turned out to be a media controversy.

First identified by media watchdog Newsbusters after which the CNN editing issue began to gain traction, “Twitter users spread clips of a side-to-side comparison to show how CNN chose to ignore the hateful comments and only paint Smith in a positive light. The news network was slammed for its apparent bias by multiple people online.” Western Journalism claimed.

Kimberly Neal, Sylville Smith’s other sister, told the same group at the vigil that further violence is no answer, Milwaukee TV station Fox6 Now reported.

Describing the edit as a form of shorthanding, Cabrera tweeted an apology of sorts yesterday, but that apparently didn’t go far enough.

According to the Daily Caller, CNN Newsroom anchor Carol Costello delivered a more comprehensive on-air apology/clarification or expression of regret today.

“I want to take a moment to clarify something from Monday. We had a report that inadvertently and wrongly characterized the plea from a Milwaukee woman whose brother was killed by police. As our viewers saw, she demanded that the violence stop in her community, but in fact, she also said that protests should instead take their violence to the suburbs. I regret that second part of her statement was not included.”

The officer who fatally shot Sylville Smith is also African American and roughly the same age as Smith, Fox6 Now reported. There is also body camera footage of the tragic encounter, but it has yet to be released to the public pending the ongoing investigation. The officer has been receiving death threats after his supposed name and picture found their way to social media, Patch asserted.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke indicated that Sylville Smith was arrested 13 times, and Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn stated that Smith allegedly had a “lengthy criminal record” including minor and more serious charges, CBS News detailed. “He’s got a bunch of drug arrests here, robbery, use of force,” said Sheriff Clarke.

Newsbusters called the original CNN report that included only a partial presentation of Sherelle Smith’s remarks and that excluded the reference to burning down the suburbs “a classic case of media bias by omission.”

[Image via Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com]