Originally posted at American Thinker.
Nineteenth century Danish existentialist philosopher Søren Aabye Kierkegaard once said: “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”
Believing what isn’t true and refusing to believe what is true seems to be what happened in Baltimore, Maryland when a confused eyewitness swore she saw a cop shoot an innocent young black man in the back, in what I like to call Michael Brown redux.
It began when FOX News reporter Mike Tobin, on the scene in Baltimore, called in to Gretchen Carlson on The Real Story to report that he witnessed a shooting. Fortuitously, FOX News reporter Leland Vittert, who’s been in the North and Pennsylvania Avenue trenches for weeks, was available to investigate Tobin’s claim.
Soon after, Vittert encountered an eyewitness named Tiffany who confirmed what Tobin said he saw. Tiffany described in great detail how she watched as a black boy was chased down and shot to death by a Caucasian cop.
According to Tiffany, the “young man” was merely sitting on the steps near a check-cashing outlet smoking cigarettes with friends when police approached him. Tiffany told Vittert that the boy took off running in fear for his life and recounted how, as he ran up the street, a white police officer assumed the shooting stance, aimed, and in broad daylight shot the boy in the back for no reason, killing him in cold blood.
A breathless Vittert asked the woman, “Were there any words exchanged?”
Tiffany replied, “No…the police just got out of the car and started chasing the boy. And then he ran down toward the Metro PCS and the officer got in the middle of the street and shot that boy right in his back – in my face.”
Leland cut in, “Was the boy on the ground?”
Tiffany replied, “Yes, he hit the ground face down.”
Referring to the tension between cops and Baltimore citizens Tiffany elaborated, “Okay and that’s when everybody got upset because you know what we’re dealing with right now.”
Yeah, we know.
Vittert leaned in as Tiffany provided the FOX News reporter with a vivid description of people rushing to the scene and being met with police in riot gear and mace.
Per Tiffany: “Yeah I got hit in the middle of the street with the mace… police … were pushing us from over here — you got aggressive officers with their night sticks out intimidating cussing us out and then they sprayed the crowd while they’re cussing us out – you know.”
When asked, Tiffany told Vittert that she saw no weapon on the boy and that all she saw was the young man pumping his arms in a running motion as he tried to run for his life.
That’s when FOX News anchor Shepard Smith cut in, and speaking over Tiffany informed Leland Vittert that the “commander at the scene” confirmed there was a shooting, and that “the man had a gun [and] police tried to arrest him [and] that it fell and went off.”
In response to Smith’s news, Leland politely asked Tiffany, “What do you think about the fact that the police are now saying he had a weapon?”
At that point Tiffany covered her face and shook her head, whimpering “My God.”
“That boy ain’t have no weapons sir, I was right there,” a weeping Tiffany said, “he was sitting there with his friends, the police came up there and killed that boy.”
Believing or refusing to believe – either way, Miss Tiffany wanted no part of the ‘boy had a weapon’ explanation and stuck to her story which, quite frankly, had all the elements necessary to fan the bonfire of racial unrest in Baltimore into a national inferno.
Tiffany looked at Leland and said, “This is what they’re gonna say,” to which the reporter replied, “You don’t believe them?”
“Not when I sat there and watched it with my own eyes!” Tiffany replied. Tiffany went on to tell the FOX News reporter that the people “around here…don’t care about these police…because they lie… they shot that boy for no reason.”
Vittert asked the eyewitness if she thought the shooting of the boy in the back by the police would cause a “repeat of the kind of violence we had before,” to which she responded:
Sir! On my honest opinion yes I do think so because too many people were out here to watch that Caucasian police officer shoot that young black boy – and this is the second one – we just came from off of Freddie Gray.
Vittert then asked the distraught woman, “There is nothing the police can say in your mind that could make it so that it was justified?”
Shaking her head “no,” Tiffany said, “Nothing; not while I was standing here … so there is nothing that they could say in my eyes that would justify.”
Tiffany emphasizing the race of the murdering police officer certainly added color to the discussion and may be what blinded her to the truth, because in less than an hour it was revealed that there was no shooting and what Mike Tobin thought he saw and what Tiffany’s lying eyes swore she saw never happened.
After the fact, Shepard Smith did issue an on-air apology for FOX’s inaccurate account.
The dramatic scenario that Tiffany says she witnessed in the middle of that street was a racial grievance-fueled hallucination: what Miss Tiffany actually beheld was an illegal handgun falling out of the waistband of a man attempting to avoid arrest.
After hearing the truth enough times, the hope is that Tiffany will begin to recognize that by “refusing to believe what is true” and “believing what isn’t true,” the self-proclaimed eyewitness to non-existent police brutality has been fooled two ways.