Perhaps no one knows better about the viral effects of social media than Britt McHenry.
If the name escapes you, she was the former ESPN reporter caught on camera berating a towing company employee in 2015. ESPN suspended her for the incident. She was laid off by the sports network in 2017.
Since then, the journalist has been popping up in various publications. Her latest piece in The Federalist attempts to bring clarity to the ongoing showdown between Michael Bennett and the Las Vegas Police Department.
In her story titled “There’s No Evidence To Back Michael Bennett’s Claim Police Roughed Him Up Because He’s Black,” McHenry points out that the police videos released so far do not prove that the NFL player was targeted because of his color, as the Seahawks defensive end has suggested on social media.
In a post titled “Equality,” Bennett wrote about the moment police had him face down on the sidewalk and allegedly had a gun near his head: “All I could think of was ‘I’m going to die for no other reason than I am black and my skin color is somehow a threat.'”
McHenry countered: “The LVPD body-camera footage shows many African-American casino patrons were in the officers’ vicinity. Thus, it’s difficult to imagine one person in that crowd being singled out solely for the color of his skin.”
Las Vegas police provide video, issue statement regarding Michael Bennett incident https://t.co/qU8Ps9W7qk pic.twitter.com/mRhgLf30Bz — Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 7, 2017
McHenry, who does not hide her conservative beliefs, stood up for law enforcement in this incident.
She wrote: “Unlike our judicial system, the social media mob’s mentality is guilty before proven innocent, especially with police officers. The frequent assumption is that every cop racially profiles, and if someone tries to counter that argument he’ll hear some variation of ‘the police department will just try to protect its own.'”
McHenry said in her dealings with Bennett, she has always found him to be “bluntly honest.”
She concludes in her article that without body-cam footage and audio, we might not ever get the truth of what really happened.
“Unfortunately, to many in the quick-to-judge crowd, it doesn’t matter,” McHenry wrote. “Innocent or not, those police officers never stood a chance.”