This is an exceptionally good question: why the long media silence regarding this fairly sensational series of crimes?
The featured correspondent from MSNBC thinks it’s about race. And that might be partly true, but the better answer is that the media are extremely reluctant to report crimes by cops, the preferred narrative being that cops are heroes. Which they sometimes are, of course, but that’s beside the point.
Facts are facts, and stubborn things. They should give rise to narratives, and not the other way around. Intellectually, we can all understand that cops can be criminals like anyone else. Viscerally, this is an extremely problematic proposition, because in our minds cops are the protectors from criminals.
The cop-as-criminal narrative, in other words, causes the lizard brain to recoil and hide from facts that threaten to undermine people’s sense of safety. Unlike news stories that positively engage the lizard brain and sell newspapers, the cop-as-criminal narrative will cause people to avoid the news outlets that are its source. The media don’t report such stories because they don’t sell.
The most disturbing thing about the Holtzclaw case is not the media’s failure, however, because that is happening all the time to many others, and I know worse stories. No, the most disturbing thing is how aware Holtzclaw was about his advantages in credibility; and he maximized that by picking vulnerable victims who would almost certainly lose a swearing contest with a cop.
There’s nothing more dangerous than a bad cop.