Police Leader Maligned by Media
Friends, law enforcement is under attack in more ways than one. Naturally, we’re seeing police operations, techniques and tactics widely questioned by the uninformed, but we’re also seeing “voices” of police work maligned in an effort to discredit them.
This recently happened to a tremendous voice for the law enforcement community, Major Travis Yates.
Travis is a dear friend to me, and this smear campaign is without conscience.
As a result of the attacks on him, Travis issued a press release that follows:
From Author Travis Yates
As I wrote last year in my book, The Courageous Police Leader, cowardly leaders and less-than-truthful members of the media often contribute to myths, lies, and chaos. This is now happening to me personally, and to exemplify it, I want to share two factual inaccuracies from a recent article written about me.
For one thing, beyond the outrageous, inflammatory headline, I was misquoted. In what seems like an attempt to discredit me, the article reads “all of the research…” However, I clearly prefaced this statement with attribution, and mentioned my sources by name. What I actually said—in mentioning research from Roland Fryer, Heather MacDonald, and the National Academy of Sciences—was that “… all of their research says…” Obviously, this is a serious, factual error of attribution.
But perhaps the most inflammatory, egregious inaccuracy involves how the article misquoted me. In the context of comparing the probabilities drawn from the statistical research of others, I said, “…all of their research says we’re shooting African-Americans about 24% less than we probably ought to be, based on the crimes being committed… This isn’t Travis talking—the research is sound, but nobody’s watching it” [emphasis added].
However, the article states that “TPD Maj. Travis Yates also suggested that, according to his interpretation of crime data, police should actually be shooting black Americans more frequently.”
I never said actually. This is plainly false and factually inaccurate. And to think that beyond a discussion of comparative statistics that I would suggest that the “police should actually be shooting” anyone is simply outrageous.
To spell out this outrageous—and libelous claim—here’s a comparison of what I said, and what the article claimed:
What I said:
“…all of their research says we’re shooting African-Americans about 24% less than we probably ought to be, based on the crimes being committed… This isn’t Travis talking—the research is sound, but nobody’s watching it” [emphasis added].
What the published article says:
“…according to his interpretation of crime data, police should actually be shooting black Americans more frequently.”
Clearly the published article does not reflect my hypothetical discussion of statistics based on the research of others. It makes no mention of the sources I cited. And it absolutely does not factually reflect my words.
As I explained in my book that was published last year, sometimes the media overlooks the facts. And its difficult to understand how these misstatements of facts and failure to identify the sources I cited do not add to the myths, chaos, and lies about law enforcement in America. But please don’t take my word for it, listen to recording for yourself to understand how factually inaccurate the article is—and to hear what I actually said to help dispel the myths and help law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Author of The Courageous Police Leader: A Survival Guide for Combating Cowards, Chaos, and Lies
If you happen to know Travis, offer your encouragement and support.
– Jim McNeff