I find it interesting how the BBC and The New York Times portrays the shootings of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu using terms such as “slain” and “assassinated”, with implication that the perpetrators acted in the coldest of blood and with malice aforethought, whereas all coverage of the racial murders committed by US police officers recently stay vague and impersonal. One of the BBC’s online articles regarding the murder of Eric Garner states; “After a confrontation with police he was wrestled to the ground and restrained by force. He became unresponsive and later died.” This is suggestive that Officer Pantaleo was simply doing his job – though Mr. Garner’s panicked yells that he “can’t breathe” suggest otherwise.
NY Times stated that Officers Ramos and Liu were murdered “for their choice of occupation,” and I feel that a parallel can be drawn here against the ongoing murders of people by police officers because of the colour of their skin. Obviously, murder is murder and it’s a horrendous thing regardless of who it is, but recently light has been shed on just how differently two instances can be portrayed in the media.


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