On Monday, fog-of-war reporting got the best of Fox News, as the cable TV news network erroneously reported that an African-American man had been shot on Monday while fleeing Baltimore police at the site of Freddie Gray’s arrest. In reality, the individual in question was not hurt and was arrested by police on gun charges after a handgun that he dropped discharged.
Baltimore Police Department Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Russell described the incident to CBS Baltimore as “a very short, brief foot pursuit. He pulled a handgun, or tries to pull it out. There’s a sound of a discharging, the sound of a weapon discharging. The police never discharged any weapons.” The man was reportedly arrested on gun charges and taken to the hospital in an ambulance out of an abundance of caution despite the fact that he was not injured when the gun discharged.
Inquisitr notes that Fox News‘ Mike Tobin originally said on-air that he witnessed a police officer shooting the man, “As he was running away, that officer drew his weapon and fired and struck the individual who was running away. It was a young, black male, and what we saw on the sidewalk, as the crime scene unfolded there, there was a revolver laying on the ground.” According to MSN, Tobin also said, “He ran right in front of us. I never saw the individual turn and do anything I would consider an aggressive act, but we did see the officer draw his weapon and I counted one gunshot.”
Reuters reported that around 100 people had gathered at the location in which the incident took place.
RT correspondent Manuel Rapalo also tweeted the erroneous report. But in Rapalo’s case he did not claim that on officer shot the suspect, only that someone was shot. Rapalo tells Truth in Media, “Put yourself in my shoes, I see a guy running, hear a gun shot, the suspect’s hands are in the air and a police officer is standing behind him with his gun drawn. That was when I took to Twitter. That was my mistake.”
As soon as police confirmed that no one had been hurt, Fox News‘ Shepard Smith immediately apologized and corrected the report. Said Smith according to The Huffington Post, “Our duty as journalists is not to make mistakes. And when we make mistakes, we are duty-bound do correct them immediately and as clearly as possible. So I’m now in correction mode, and we apparently were wrong.”
The original, erroneous report can be seen in the below-embedded video player.