Blake, who is Black, was shot seven times by a white officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after police responded to a 911 call from the mother of his children on Aug. 23. He had warrants out for several charges, including disorderly conduct and third-degree sexual assault. Police tried to arrest him and after a brief tussle with officers, he moved toward the front of his car.
“I realized I had dropped my knife, had a little pocket knife. So I picked it up after I got off of him because they tased me and I fell on top of him,” Blake told Michael Strahan on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Jan. 14.
While the Times’ Jan. 5 story, “What We Know About the Shooting of Jacob Blake” does not call Blake unarmed during the shooting, it quoted police and state officials claiming he held a knife, not Blake himself. It also noted Blake’s attorney Benjamin Crump denied he had a knife. That was the last story from the Times to mention the knife in a story about Blake, according to a search of its archives.
Journalist Jeryl Bier criticized legacy media outlets like the New York Times for their “bias of omission” on the story in a Twitter thread.
“Given the publicity around the Blake story and the oft repeated incorrect assertion that he was unarmed, I cannot but conclude that his admission of the open knife has been deliberately ignored and/or downplayed because it doesn’t fit the preferred narrative,” Bier tweeted.
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