The tragic targeting of police officers by a shooter last night and the extreme partisanship of Polifact have brought back to the forefront controversial, politically charged lies told by Presidential candidates and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris over the weekend.
To review Senator Warren tweeted:
5 years ago Michael Brown was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael was unarmed yet he was shot 6 times. I stand with activists and organizers who continue the fight for justice for Michael. We must confront systemic racism and police violence head on.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 9, 2019
Senator Harris tweeted:
Michael Brown’s murder forever changed Ferguson and America. His tragic death sparked a desperately needed conversation and a nationwide movement. We must fight for stronger accountability and racial equity in our justice system.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 9, 2019
As Townhall’s Guy Benson described it yesterday:
In case you missed it over the weekend, two 'top tier' Democratic presidential hopefuls actively spread a vile lie, perpetuating a racially-charged hoax for cheap political gain. . . .
Both of these tweets are extremely irresponsible and dishonest, framing Michael Brown's killing by a police officer as a "murder." It was not. As David French reminds us, the Obama-Holder Justice Department reviewed all the evidence of that officer-involved shooting in great detail, and cleared the officer of wrongdoing. . .
Warren's commentary is even worse than Harris' because it compounds the "murder" libel by highlighting the race of the police officer, citing the incident as emblematic of "systemic racism" and "police violence." This is disgraceful.
Yet Polifact, while acknowledging that as a former state attorney general and law professor, Senators Harris and Warren definitely understand the definition of murder and Brown was not murdered, won’t call out Warren and Harris and offers a quasi defense. In fact, they only wrote about the incident after numerous requests from readers.
After these tweets came out, PolitiFact heard from numerous readers who asked us to check whether Harris and Warren were correct in calling Brown’s death a "murder." . . .
In discussing the case with legal experts, however, we found broad consensus that "murder" was the wrong word to use — a legal point likely familiar to Harris, a longtime prosecutor, and Warren, a law professor. . . .
Because the significance of Harris’ and Warrens’ [sic] use of the word is open to some dispute, we won’t be rating their tweets on the Truth-O-Meter.
As the Examiner points out, this is gobbledygook:
An independent Justice Department investigation found that there was no credible evidence to support the claim that the white officer “murdered” the 18-year-old black man. Instead, the report found that Wilson had acted in self-defense. Brown was killed in the violent act of assaulting a police officer.
But try telling that to PolitiFact, which published an absurd, laugh-out-loud defense of the 2020 Democratic primary candidates Wednesday. Having split so many hairs in order to impugn Republicans, the fact-checker now believes that it is just too difficult to know what a person really means when they use the word “murder.”
Surprisingly the Washington Post fact checker did an honest review and gave Harris and Warren a scathing four Pinocchios:
But Harris and Warren have ignored the findings of the Justice Department to accuse Wilson of murder, even though the Justice Department found no credible evidence to support that claim.
Instead, the Justice Department found that the popular narrative was wrong, according to witnesses deemed to be credible, some of whom testified reluctantly because of fear of reprisal. The department produced a comprehensive report to determine what happened, making the senators’ dismissal of it even more galling. Harris and Warren both earn Four Pinocchios.
Not only have they not apologized or corrected their tweets but last night Senator Harris was politicizing the Philadelphia Police shooting while it was going on. As a former law professor and former attorney general, Warren and Harris know that Michael Brown's death was not “murder” and are politicizing a tragedy in the worst way. Shame on them.