In a flood of media reporting and analysis appearing hours after a grand jury’s announcement to not indict officers involved in the shooting death of Tamir Rice, NBC and MSNBC used Rice’s case to conclude that the Black Lives Matter movement has “not made enough progress.”
“As in the case of Rice, several of the recent widely-covered killings of African-Americans by police did not result in punishments for the officers,” wrote NBC News senior political reporter Perry Bacon Jr. “The officer accused of choking Eric Garner to death in 2014 in Staten Island was not indicted by a grand jury, nor was the officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a few weeks later.”
A grand jury also did not charge Texas officials with wrong-doing in the death of Sandra Bland, the woman who committed suicide in jail earlier this year after being arrested following a traffic stop that civil rights activists say was unnecessary. Earlier this month, a jury could not reach a decision in the trial of the one of the officers who was charged in the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, resulting in a mistrial.
Bacon conceded that the “Black Lives Matter movement has faced a major challenge: current laws in most states give wide latitude for police conduct, particularly if the officer feels he or she is acting in self-defense.”
Elsewhere, MSNBC national political reporter Trymaine Lee lamented that “the Rice case is an example of how the high of real, substantive change has been mixed with demoralizing lows.”