What you are about to read and watch is stranger than fiction. It's so racist and so outrageous, that people are questioning whether or not it's satire from The Onion. It's real though, and that's what is so shocking and heartbreaking about the whole ordeal.
Getting their picture taken above is the mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges, with Navell Gordon, a young volunteer from the respected Twin Cities charity, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change.
To better understand the context, please take just one minute to watch the beginning of the video below. Pay particular attention at 0:32-0:39 as Navell and Mayor Hodges share a clumsy "how do we pose in this photo together" moment.
Imagine, then, the shock, utter disappointment, and disgust when the local ABC news affiliate, KSTP ran a news story on Thursday night
claiming that Mayor Hodges dangerously flashed a gang sign with a known criminal and has put officers in harms way. Follow the trail below.
First, ABC reporter Jay Kolls wrote the following tweets before the news story ran live on Thursday night.
Then, the story ran with this insane headline, but the video below it is worse than you could EVER
You have to watch this video to believe it. It literally may be the most racist news story of all of 2014. It's so outrageous and has such a phony feel to it that it seems almost like a practical joke—except it's completely real. In it, current and retired police officers claim that Mayor Hodges has put the safety of officers in serious risk by her deliberate and flagrant action.
But what KSTP isn't telling you in this news story is that the Minneapolis chief of police, Janee Harteau, was actually there with Navell and Mayor Hodges the entire time. Here they are in a picture together. That's the chief on the far left.
Or that the Mayor made this exact same common hand gesture before this insane news story ever broke.
Does the Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP not have a filter in which something that smells this bad gets flagged for poor journalism?
Sadly, only racism allows such an ugly story and stereotype to be advanced about a young man who was clearly not flashing a gang sign with the mayor of Minneapolis. He deserves a public apology and heads should roll at this station for even allowing it to ever make it to the air.
Furthermore, some real investigative journalism needs to uncover just why the police were willing to get behind such a phony story. Something smells off in a major way. Could it be because the mayor is behind the police wearing body cameras and the police faked this story hours before the pilot program was due to launch? Or could it be that she called out police corruption and vowed to clean it up last month?
Since KSTP ran this awful story, the hashtag #pointergate has gone viral with hundreds of photos of regular people and celebrities all over the world pointing at people in photos.
Here are a few samples, all taken BEFORE this outrageous scandal broke out.