Kudos to The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, who wrote an editorial Monday admitting that the widespread allegation that Michael Brown was shot with his hands up was “based on a lie,” and acknowledged he was wrong to have spread it.
Capehart’s headline was simple and to the point: “‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ was built on a lie.” In the lede, he explained how he he was initially taken in by the prevailing narrative as it was spread on Twitter the night of the shooting, and how he repeated the claims the following Sunday morning while guest-hosting MSNBC’s “Up w/Steve Kornacki.” (RELATED: Holder Admits ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Claim Was Bogus)
“In those early hours and early days, there was more unknown than known,” he writes, “But this month, the Justice Department released two must-read investigations connected to the killing of Brown that filled in blanks, corrected the record and brought sunlight to dark places by revealing ugly practices that institutionalized racism and hardship. They have also forced me to deal with two uncomfortable truths: Brown never surrendered with his hands up, and Wilson was justified in shooting Brown.”
Capehart does stress the importance of the Department of Justice review of the Ferguson police department, which uncovered multiple racist emails and alleged a systemic racial disparity in how the department treated black suspects. He also claims that even if the narrative in one case was false, “it is imperative that we continue marching for and giving voice to those killed in racially charged incidents at the hands of police and others.”
“But we must never allow ourselves to march under the banner of a false narrative on behalf of someone who would otherwise offend our sense of right and wrong. And when we discover that we have, we must acknowledge it, admit our error and keep on marching,” Capehart writes. “That’s what I’ve done here.” (VIDEO: Joe Scarborough SCHOOLS Fellow MSNBC Host About ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’)
On Twitter, Capehart called the op-ed “the hardest piece I’ve ever had to write.”
The hardest piece I’ve ever had to write. http://t.co/B8RN49rMey
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) March 16, 2015