Local Reporting on the Car Accident and Beating Death

There’s a lot of local and national coverage of the beating death of David Morales, passenger in a car that apparently hit a 2-year-old yesterday. The child was described as having non-serious or non-life threatening injuries.

Initial coverage, including the APD press release seemed to imply that there was a huge mob of 1,000 or more involved. It now appears that there were only 20 people in the immediate area and only 5 or fewer were involved. A larger crowd from a nearby Juneteenth celebration may have formed after the incident and were merely spectators to the aftermath, but the updated APD press release is very careful not to associate the incident with the Juneteenth festivities at least 2 blocks away.

The News8Austin story says that our incoming new police chief pushed for the more moderate update of the press release. This is the last thing APD needs given recent events and their current reputation in the community, especially East Austin. The city has been making a big deal about the selection of the new police chief, Art Acevedo. It looks like he’s got his work cut out for him.

2 Comments so far

  1. saulpanzer (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2007 @ 5:26 am

    I think its also an indictment of the local media who apparently did little reporting beyond regurgitating the APD press release. If they had questioned the people at the complex before the first report, shouldn’t they have found out there weren’t thousands of people involved?

  2. ttrentham (unregistered) on June 22nd, 2007 @ 9:29 am

    It’s not just the local media. Look at the headline on this Houston Chronicle story. They chose to go with “Crowd kills passenger riding in vehicle that struck child”. I’d hardly call 5 people or less a crowd. This Obscure Store headline even got the sex of the victim wrong. And don’t read the comments on that post. They’ll make you ill.

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