CNN removed a report it had posted online yesterday which claimed that Sherelle Smith -- the sister of an armed black man who was shot to death by police on August 13 -- had called for peace in the wake of arson and violence in Milwaukee on August 13. In reality, Smith was actually inciting violence. An initial report by CNN said that Smith condemned the rioting and arson that marred the Wisconsin city.
On August 13, Sylville Smith was subjected to a vehicle stop by a Milwaukee police officer in the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee. Sylville -- who had a lengthy criminal record that included a charge of intimidating a witness in a case in which he was charged with assault. Sylville, who was armed at the time, fled on foot while the police officer pursued him. Soon afterward, the officer shot Sylville Smith to death. According to the mayor of Milwaukee, the arresting officer's body-cam showed that Syville was armed at the time of his death and pointed his pistol at the officer. Both Sylville Smith and the officer involved are black.
CNN reporter Ana Cabera reported on the Sherelle Smith story in Milwaukee
In a video report entitled “Residents try to heal,” CNN showed just a few of Smith's words as she spoke at a memorial for her brother, Sylville. The heavily edited video clip makes it seem as though she was calling for peace. In the clip, the reporter says, “Smith’s sister Sherelle Smith condemned the violence, saying the community needs the businesses affected.” Then the video cuts to Sherelle Smith saying, “Don’t bring that violence here.”
However, what Smith went on to say was quite revealing about the tensions in the community on the day that rioting and arson raged. The CNN televised report neglected to show that Smith went on to actually incite violence.
However, as reported at Spero News, Smith directed her listeners to take their violent behavior to Milwaukee’s largely white suburbs. "Burnin' down s—t ain't going to help nothing," Sherelle said. "Y'all burning down s—t we need in our community. Take that s—t to the suburbs. Burn that s—t down. We need our s—t. We need our weaves. I don't wear it. But we need it."
Since the discrepancy was pointed out by several news outlets, CNN removed the portion in its report about Sherelle but did not provide an explanation or editor’s note about the change. Since the story was edited, Ana Cabrera of CNN issued a correction on Twitter to the effect that the network had "shorthanded" the story about Smith.
We shorthanded sister’s quote. Unintentionally gave the impression she was calling for peace everywhere. Correction: https://t.co/CUroBoxj60