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Thu Jul 14, 2016, 06:26 AM

Copspeak: 7 Ways Journalists Use Police Jargon to Obscure the Truth

Source: FAIR

1. “Officer-involved shooting”



Probably the most popular and most frequently criticized example of copspeak, “officer-involved shooting” is a textbook example of what Robert Jay Lifton called a “thought-terminating cliche.” It describes an act of violence without assigning blame and is almost never used for when a police officer is the victim, only when the police have shot someone — justified or not.

By describing an event alongside the person who did it without connecting the two, “officer-involved shooting” vaguely alludes to what happened without the emotional response this would normally evoke. “Such phraseology,” Orwell wrote in “Politics and the English Language,” “is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.”

On Sunday, Houston CBS affiliate KHOU (7/10/16) framed a police shooting:

Man Killed After Officer-Involved Shooting in SE Houston


Beyond the term “officer-involved shooting,” this headline is still opaque to the point of inaccuracy. The man in question wasn’t killed after an “officer-involved shooting” he was killed in an officer-involved shooting. The causal relationship between the two isn’t made clear at all, nor is the responsibility for the death clearly ascribed to the officer. We routinely see this rhetorical pretzel employed to obscure killings by police.


Read more: http://fair.org/home/copspeak-7-ways-journalists-use-police-jargon-to-obscure-the-truth/

The other six are: Passive and segmented language, “Suspect/subject”, “Officials/sources say…”, “Juvenile”, “Discharged weapon”, and “Altercation”.

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Reply Copspeak: 7 Ways Journalists Use Police Jargon to Obscure the Truth (Original post)
demmiblue Jul 2016 OP
DetlefK Jul 2016 #1
demmiblue Jul 2016 #2

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Jul 14, 2016, 07:01 AM

1. "Well, some people say..."

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 14, 2016, 07:06 AM

2. Yes:


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