Anchor Wendy Bell And The Black Gunman: Do You Get Fired for Being Wrong or Right?
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Back on March 9 in Wilkinsburg, PA there was a big slaughter:
Four women, including one who was eight months pregnant, and one man were killed when two gunmen ambushed a cookout in the back yard of a home on Franklin Avenue, according to authorities. Three others were wounded.

Investigators said one shooter with a .40-caliber handgun approached from an alley and began shooting, while another with an AK-47 assault-style rifle fired at partygoers as they attempted to run into the house, where several children were.

More than 40 shell casings were removed from the scene by officers.

The first person punished in this incident, however, was a white lady newscaster. From the NYT last month:
Pittsburgh TV Anchor Is Fired After Racial Facebook Post


About two weeks after a grisly shooting in a Pittsburgh suburb, Wendy Bell, a local news anchor for WTAE-TV, wrote a public Facebook post that focused in part on finding hope and offering kindness.

But before the offering kindness part, she swerved into racial commentary that led to her being fired on Wednesday.

She was responding to a shooting at a backyard party on March 9 in Wilkinsburg, Pa., that killed five people, including a pregnant woman. No one has been arrested, and the police have not yet publicly identified suspects.

I’ve been waiting around to see whom the police publicly identify as a suspect.
Yet in her Facebook post on March 21, which was later edited and eventually deleted, Ms. Bell played detective in a way that some felt relied on damaging stereotypes.

“You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts two weeks ago Wednesday,” she wrote. The post continued: “They are young black men, likely in their teens or in their early 20s. They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs. These boys have been in the system before. They’ve grown up there. They know the police. They’ve been arrested.”

In the same post, Ms. Bell mentioned a hard-working, young, black man whom she saw working at a restaurant, praising him in a way that came across as patronizing. “I wonder how long it had been since someone told him he was special,” she wrote. …

Ms. Bell, who joined the station in 1998 and has won 21 regional Emmy Awards, apologized last week on her Facebook account, which has since been deleted. “I now understand that some of the words I chose were insensitive and could be viewed as racist,” she wrote. “I regret offending anyone. I’m truly sorry.”

But on Wednesday, she told The Associated Press that she didn’t get a “fair shake” and argued that people’s focus should be on “African-Americans being killed by other African-Americans.”

“It makes me sick,” she said. “What matters is what’s going on in America, and it is the death of black people in this country.”

She continued: “I live next to three war-torn communities in the city of Pittsburgh, that I love dearly. My stories, they struck a nerve. They touched people, but it’s not enough. More needs to be done. The problem needs to be addressed.”

The police finally announced this week they’ve detained a single suspect (although there were at least two shooters). The Pittsburgh DA announced:
“At a bond hearing this morning on a case involving drug and weapons charges against Robert Thomas, it was revealed through statements by both prosecution and defense counsel that Thomas is considered a suspect in the March 9 shootings in Wilkinsburg. That information was then further confirmed through testimony from an Allegheny County homicide detective. Following our argument that we consider Thomas a flight risk and a danger to the community based on his previous record and the drug and weapons charges that he currently faces, Judge (David) Cashman agreed with our assessment and denied bond.”
We spend a lot of time patting ourselves on the back over how science is all about making accurate predictions. But we seem to get especially mad at people the more accurate their predictions.

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