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Deconstructing the Dallas narrative: not triangulation but a lone shooter

One of the nine points that OnTheMedia makes in its Breaking News Handbook is this:

4. There’s almost never a second shooter.

For most of Thursday evening and into Friday morning, news reports directly contradicted this claim. So much so that at the end of the day, I was wondering if it would be proved wrong.

The word leading the narrative was “triangulation.”

Police Chief David O. Brown full quote, from AP, Thursday:

We believe that these suspects were positioning themselves in a way to triangulate on these officers from two different [areas] in garages in the downtown area and planned to injure and kill as many law enforcement officers as they could.

The New York Times, dateline Thursday:

The police believe four suspects coordinated the attack with rifles, Police Chief David O. Brown said, and positioned themselves in triangulated locations near the end of the route the protesters planned to take.

Lede graph, Gawker, Friday morning:

Authorities say they believe the attack in Dallas that killed five police officers and injured six more was carried out by at least four snipers who positioned themselves in “triangulated locations” on rooftops near the end of a Black Lives Matter parade route Thursday.

Rep. William Hurd, a former CIA intelligence officer on Fox (News) & Friends on Friday morning:

When gunfire started exchanging, you had folks in cross positions that were moving towards the target… The level of coordination, there seemed to be some type of triangulation.

Speculation ran wild

Was the assessment accurate? Nope.

 

Which leads to (unanswered) questions:

Remember: if something sounds too good (or too bad) to be true, check before sharing. Because it usually isn’t. True, that is.

And in breaking news cases — perhaps especially those in the United States involving guns — initial news reports are likely to be more wrong than right. Initial statements by investigators … also should be treated as “maybe” not “is”.

Be skeptical, not in a jaundiced sense, but in a realistic sense.

More

Yesterday’s post: Essential behavior during breaking news events: think before sharing
Featured image: Wikipedia, by Chabster – CC BY 3.0

11 thoughts on “Deconstructing the Dallas narrative: not triangulation but a lone shooter

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jackie Johnson

    August 7, 2016 at 9:02am

    Who was the person taken into custody that was involved in a shootout with SWAT?

    • Kathy E. Gill

      August 7, 2016 at 10:02pm

      No one was taken into custody and also involved in the shoot-out.

    • Jackie Johnson

      August 8, 2016 at 6:29am

      You are wrong. It was reported numerous times and most importantly by the DPD in real-time. You are part of the propaganda that has completely taken over all media. It sounds like it was a light-skinned black woman, but it did happen and has been ignored in favor of the lone gunman nonsense.

      http://www.wkow.com/story/32398266/2016/07/07/update-5-officers-killed-in-dallas-6-wounded

      Dallas Police Chief David Brown says at least 11 police officers were shot and five of those were killed after two snipers attacked law enforcement during a protest of officer-involved shootings across the country. The female suspect who was detained earlier in the night was in a shootout with Dallas SWAT officers, according to WFAA, near the garage of El Centro College. A suspicious package was found near there and the Dallas Police Department bomb squad was dispatched.

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sandra

    July 10, 2016 at 10:25am

    There probably were 4 shooters in rooftop positions but the one lone scapegoat theory was probably pinned on him by the fbi, same as orlando sandy hook and all the others. Why is it all witnesses report several shooters and then conveniently it ends up as the manchurian candidate lone shooter, usually ex-military where they can practice their witchcraft on unknowing soldiers. This obviously a way to start racial tensions by the US govt as an excuse for martial law and confiscation of weapons.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Dave

    July 9, 2016 at 4:45am

    They said one of the shooters shot himself but then I just read that “the lone gunman” was killed by a robot-delivered bomb while hiding in a garage… bizarre contradictory details from cops and authorities.

    • Kathy E. Gill

      July 9, 2016 at 10:39am

      Thanks, Dave. The first 48 hours (or more) after an event like this one are usually marked by contradictions. One bit of heartburn for me in this story … is that we have only hearsay RE the conversations between police and the person taking cover in the garage. For everyone’s sake, I hope that the transcript of those conversations becomes public.

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