Accuracy in Media

The New York Times panned recent criticism from a Black Lives Matter chapter president about one of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s potential running mates, Florida Rep. Val Demings.

Demings, a former Orlando police chief, was said to be on Biden’s vice-presidential vetting list ahead of his announcement later this summer.

Hawk Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter’s Greater New York chapter, blasted Demings for her past work as a Florida police officer and police chief. “Joe Biden would be an idiot to put her on his ticket. People are already on the fence about him,” Newsome said, “When black people become police officers, they are no longer black. They are blue. And I have been told this by numerous officers.”

The New York Times, in addition to other mainstream media outlets, ignored Newsome’s blistering and potentially-racist criticism. Neither has there been significant public vetting of Demings’ record as police chief or her two terms as congresswoman.

The New York Post and several British newspapers, such as the Daily Mail, covered Newsome’s remarks about Demings.

Demings started her career as a police officer in Orlando in 1984, working her way up from to become the department’s police chief in 2007. Her tenure was marred by excessive-force allegations, such as defending one of her officers who allegedly slammed an 84-year-old World War II veteran to the ground and broke the man’s neck. The officer was cleared of wrongdoing, but the veteran’s son claimed that his father has been on a feeding tube after the incident in 2010.

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