Denver Post Screws Up With Mugshot
A grand jury declined to indict an Aurora, Colorado police officer in the fatal March shooting of an unarmed, Black man.
37-year-old Naeschylus Vinzant died after being shot by Officer Paul Jerothe on Mar. 6. He was shot in the chest and killed on an Aurora street.
But folks on social media aren’t talking about the fact that another white police officer got off scott free. They’re taking note of the Denver Post’s choice in imaging to accompany the story:
— The Denver Post (@denverpost) December 30, 2015
@denverpost and yet u chose to make the unarmed victim look like a criminal in this case ..
— Coley Cole (@NickaBISH) December 30, 2015
@denverpost ya’ll had to use the unarmed man’s mug, though???
— Black as Sin. (@Nikitaontop) December 30, 2015
According to a report released by the grand jury, Vinzant had assaulted his wife and left her bloodied. Vinzant was also wanted for violating his parole in a “high priority” notice. He was confronted by a fugitive unit and SWAT team when he was shot.
Officials say Vinzant ran away from officers as they attempted to arrest him with his right hand in his pocket, “appearing to hide something.”
Jerothe came face-to-face with Officer Jerothe, the report said, and moved his hand from his pocket. That’s when Jerothe shot him with his rifle, striking Vinzant once in the chest.
The grand jury found that Vinzant never attempted to surrender.
No one is attempting to make Vinzant an innocent victim, but using a mugshot of an unarmed man killed by police does more harm than good to the images of African Americans portrayed by media.
The Denver Post’s choice in photo selection is very telling, and from the looks of the social media backlash, it won’t be tolerated.