Posted on December 19, 2022

Why the Media Ignored Female Black Cop Melvina Bogard’s Shooting of Unarmed White Man Ariel Roman

Rav Arora, New York Post, December 17, 2022

Late last month, Chicago Police Officer Melvina Bogard was acquitted of felony battery charges in the shooting of an unarmed man at a Chicago train station in 2020. While a handful of local media outlets reported on the story at the time, the case received far less attention than most in which a cop shoots a civilian.

Perhaps this has something to do with Bogard’s race — she is black and the shooting victim, Ariel Roman, is white. {snip}

The details around the Roman shooting are clear. On Feb. 8, 2020, officer Bogard and her partner, Bernard Butler, attempted to arrest Roman for illegally moving between train cars at the Grand Avenue stop on the Chicago’s Red Line train system.

In video footage compiled by The Chicago Sun-Times, Roman can be seen persistently resisting arrest. {snip} Eventually the officers deploy their Tasers, yet Roman manages to remain on his feet. {snip}

In a matter of seconds, Bogard shoots Roman in the stomach at point-blank range. Somehow Roman flees before she fires at him a second time in the back. Eventually, Roman, wounded and bloodied, is apprehended and arrested.

{snip} Although Bogard claimed she shot Roman in self-defense, even her own police chief, David Brown, didn’t buy that argument. He called for her to be fired for violating police protocol, saying deadly force was not necessary on a person who posed no serious threat to her or anyone nearby.

But what’s most noticeable in this case is the media’s response to the shooting — or, rather, its lack thereof. After the 2014 death of Eric Garner at the hands of NYPD cop Daniel Pantaleo, the media has scrutinized every instance of police overreach — but only when the cops are white and the victims are black.

The Bogard case, which refused to conform to that ideology, barely registered.


In 2020, policy analyst Zach Goldberg researched racial bias in the media and showed that unarmed black victims of fatal police shootings generate nine times as many news search items as those about white victims. Mainstream media outlets have made coordinated “editorial decisions” to “normalize among their readership the belief that ‘color’ is the defining attribute of other human beings,” Goldberg writes.