“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” said Mark Twain. And in the age of social media, that lie can get to Mars and back before the truth can bestir itself.
Perhaps it’s a little much to compare the story that bombed Twitter and the internet yesterday with a “lie.” After all, police did actually respond to the disturbance at a suburban pool and apparently roughed up some black teenagers, with one officer pulling a gun.
The “lie” is one of omission — as in, what really happened at that pool and why the police response had absolutely nothing to do with race.
Apparently, the pool was hosting an end-of-the-school-year party for teenagers in the subdivision, when dozens of uninvited guests showed up. The pool is semi-private as it is only open to residents of the subdivision and guests. But the event was promoted on Twitter and apparently non-residents began crashing the party by climbing the fence. When asked to leave by residents and pool management, they refused. They also refused to refrain from smoking pot and drinking.
What happened next was predictable.
Police were called to the scene and attempted to get some of the trespassers to sit down while they investigated. Many of the teens fled and police chased some of them down. This is when the video of the incident with police began. There does not appear to be any video of the initial police contact with the teens.
One resident, Benet Embry, a black man, posted on Facebook about the events leading up to the police call. “Look, I LIVE in this community and this ENTIRE incident is NOT racial at all,” Embry wrote. “A few THUGS spoiled a COMMUNITY event by fighting, jumping over fences into a PRIVATE pool, harassing and damaging property. Not EVERYTHING is about RACE. WE have other issues that NEED our attention other flights of made up make believe causes.”
In another post he is critical of media coverage of the incident. “I’ve never seen such irresponsible reporting and miss management of media resources in my life,” he said.
Another McKinney resident, Bryan Gestner, posted on Facebook, “This was a Twitter party that turned into a mob event. Jumping pool fence. Assaulting 2 security guards, attacking a mother with three little girls. The video doesn’t show everything.” He continued saying the kids were drinking and “smoking weed” and they would not listen to any of the adults around the pool.
“This isn’t about race,” he continued. “This is about outside kids invading our neighborhood and had no respect for authority or the residents here. I have a target on my back now and I have been threatened by these punks that they are gonna shoot up my house when all I did was try to control the mob and actually tended to the girl and the boy that had a bloody lip.”
“Yall don’t know the whole story,” Gestner continued. “I commend the officer for handling this situation.”
Gestner wrapped up his post alleging that these same kids came back into the neighborhood Saturday night. They were “kicking in people’s front door, stole a truck and crashed it into many vehicles. They vandalized dozens of cars and were stealing things.”
I am not excusing the behavior of police — one of whom pulled a gun on unarmed teenagers. But this was a situation that easily could have spiraled out of control into a riot. Police applied the force they thought appropriate — something that can be debated among reasonable people.
Neither can I excuse the behavior of the media who sought to blow up a clear case of trespassing and hooliganism into a racial confrontation. This is what you get when you have agenda-driven journalism. The only “facts” reported are those that fit the narrative and it was apparently too inconvenient to include facts that would have broadened the context of the incident for their audience.
Will this context be given by the liberals who have been on fire for the last 24 hours since this story broke? Or, like all racial incidents in recent memory, will the facts and the truth be ignored in slavish devotion to a false narrative?