Boston Globe hides race of police officer, part two

Boston Globe hides race of police officer, part two

PE Bias Grade : F

By: Allen Nitschelm on October 10, 2020 | Article Review, Investigative Journalism

This is a review of the following Boston Globe Article:
Article Title Mother, sisters of slain teen arrested at protest
Date 10/10/2020
Article Link Boston Globe ( Page A4 )
Syndicated From Associated Press
Journalist Unsigned Associated Press
Article Summary

Family members of teen killed by a police officer get arrested in protest.

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Last month, I covered a Boston Globe article which edited out the race of a Black police chief because it didn’t fit their narrative that all cops must be racist when they arrest Black suspects. In that case, entire police departments are presumed racist even when they are lead by African-Americans. Oops, that doesn’t sound right, let’s just hide the race of the Chief. Here is a link to that article: Well, the subterfuge happened again in today’s Globe.

The current example describes the suspect as Black but does not include the race of the officer, who is also Black. Having a Black officer arrest a Black suspect would hardly seem to be an incident of racism, but this inconsistency would just make readers question whether all police are racist as the Globe implies through their coverage. Perhaps even White officers arrest Black suspects because they are suspected of committing a crime and not because of their racial background?

It is possible that journalists simply don’t report on the race of the officers as a matter of course. If any officer shoots or mistreats a minority, it is a racial bias issue regardless of the officer’s background. This of course is absurd, but I guess one could make the argument.

But in today’s example, as in the previous case, the article originated from the Associated Press and the article included the race of the officer. The Boston Globe edited out that detail, both in the article and in the AP photo caption.

So now we have a clear pattern, not an isolated incident or mistake.

Here is a link to the AP story on which this story was based, and here is the paragraph (see photo five) describing the officer by the AP:

The arrests came as demonstrators gathered in Wauwatosa to protest prosecutors’ decision not to charge Officer Joseph Mensah in the 17-year-old’s death. Mensah, who is Black, shot Cole after a foot chase outside a Wauwatosa mall in February. (emphasis mine)

The AP photo, which the Globe ran, had a photo caption which also clearly identified the officer accused in the incident as Black (see photo five again). Here is the AP photo caption:

Tracy Cole, mother of Alvin Cole, talks to the media outside the Milwaukee County courthouse in Milwaukee on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Eight months after the shooting death of 17-year-old Alvin Cole in February, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office ruled Wednesday a Black police officer won’t be charged because he had reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP) (emphasis mine)

This article was a “short” piece in the Globe which now covers the “protests” as a daily column called the “protest notebook.” This fits well with their intention to create a narrative.

Interestingly, another short piece in today’s “protest notebook” is about the officer who was arrested in the George Floyd death. His race is identified by the Globe. Here is that snippet:

Derek Chauvin posted $1 million bond on Wednesday and was allowed to walk free from the maximum-security state prison where he had been held for his safety since shortly after his arrest. Floyd died after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after the handcuffed Black man pleaded for air before his death May 25. Chauvin was later charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. (emphasis mine).

This is an example of how the Globe covers the race of the officer when the officer is White. Just another inconsistency showing their implicit bias.

The Globe is constantly editorializing about racial bias and racism. Perhaps their reporters and editors need some classroom training on this subject to remove their bias against law enforcement.


Allen Nitschelm is publisher of He critiques the Boston Globe, mostly focusing on the bias in their news reporting. News articles are graded for bias, and the website has a listing of the average bias ratings for all reporters reviewed. See our website for more information and the four categories of articles we publish.

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