Speaking at a campaign event in Franconia, New Hampshire, Elizabeth Warren was asked about the controversy over her description of Michael Brown’s death as a “murder.” WMUR9 caught Warren’s response. As you’ll see, Warren never admits she was wrong but instead revises her statement to something closer to the truth:
The U.S. senator from Massachusetts faced questions from back home, where the Yarmouth, Massachusetts, Police Department described as “reckless” her tweet about the five-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown, who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri, in a controversial officer-involved shooting.
Warren said the police “murdered” Brown.
“What matters was a man was shot, an unarmed man, in the middle of the street, by police officers and left to die,” she said. “And I think that’s where our focus should be.”
I said closer to the truth but this is still inaccurate in at least two significant ways. First of all, Officer Wilson didn’t know Brown was unarmed during their encounter. What he did know was that Brown was larger and heavier and that he had already initiated a fight with a police officer including throwing punches and grabbing for his gun.
Secondly, it’s not accurate that Brown was shot and “left to die.” The final shot that stopped Brown entered the top of his head as he was charging forward. He died instantly. Warren may have been trying to allude to the fact that Brown’s body remained in the street for several hours after his death. But that’s not the same thing as being left to die.
The fact that Warren doesn’t really seem to know what she’s talking about, even on her second try at this, can be taken in one of two ways. On the one hand, maybe she initially used the M-word to show how woke she is and now she’s backing away from it after being called out by some fact-checkers (though of course not Politifact).
On the other hand, maybe this shows her first crack at this has more in common with that NY Times editorial blaming Sarah Palin for the Tucson shooting, i.e. a case of embarrassing ignorance by someone who really ought to know better. I’ll leave it to you to judge whether intentional racial pot-stirring or complete ignorance is worse.
In either case, Warren ought to be forced to admit that she was wrong, not simply breeze over the vast difference between murder and a justifiable police shooting. And don’t forget that Kamala Harris, Tom Steyer and Al Sharpton all made similar claims. The media ought to press them to correct the record too.
Here’s the video pulled by Washington Free Beacon: