Los Angeles Times Refuses to Reveal Criteria for Reporting Race in Crime Stories

The Los Angeles (LA) Times has a spotty record of reporting race in crime stories, rarely invoking race when discussing black or illegal immigrant perpetrators, but constantly covering race when the victim is of minority descent and the alleged perpetrator is white. When asked about their criteria for reporting race in crime stories, the LA Times refused to answer questions, even though the Los Angeles Police Department told The Daily Wire that they always report race with regard to crimes when race is available.

The LA Times frequently emphasizes cross-racial violence when the victim is of minority descent and the alleged victimizer is white; the Times nearly always reports white-on-black racism and live blogs exclusively reporting the deaths of black people by gunshot.

Earlier this month, the LA Times was caught falsely reporting the infamous Oregon shooter as a "white supremacist," though the suspect self-identified as "mixed-race" and lived with his black mother. However, in other LA Times stories involving domestic violence, the races of the crime suspects were not reported.

In more recent news, the LA Times published several reports on the Black Lives Matter disruption at Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti’s town hall meeting in South Los Angeles last week. In every article covering the protests, the "memorial site Friday near the spot where LAPD officers last year fatally shot Ezell Ford, a black man whose family said suffered from mental illness," was referenced, although the shooting was justified.

Officer Norma Eisenman of the Los Angeles Police Department told The Daily Wire that the Black Lives Matter protest at Garcetti’s event is "still an ongoing investigation."

"My understanding to this is a lot of the footage is still being reviewed so that’s why they (the LAPD) weren’t making comment on it," Eisenman said. She did say, however, that the LAPD regularly does report on the race of crime suspects in all press releases.

Seeing as the LAPD consistently reports race in covering crime, it was strange that the Times would not do the same. To gain some clarity on the matter, The Daily Wire contacted the LA Times about its policy on reporting race in crime stories.

A male operator at the LA Times News Desk told The Daily Wire, “Sometimes they do [report race], sometimes they don’t. I don’t think they do it every time." He said that Henry Fuhrman, the Times’ style editor, is the person who makes that decision.

Numerous phone calls, voice messages, and emails were made to Fuhrman and to many editors and staff at the LA Times since yesterday, but to no avail. Fuhrman and his colleagues have still not responded, and after hearing of the The Daily Wire’s question regarding policies on reporting race, staff at the LA Times attempted to block The Daily Wire from further inquiry.

"I’m not allowed to transfer you[r phone call] to that person," front desk operator Cariah responded each time after being asked to speak with editors Davan Maharaj, Shelby Grad, and even Henry Fuhrman, to whom another operator, Altia, had transferred the call hours earlier.

The office of one staff writer, Amanda Covarrubias, said she was busy after being asked about the paper's race reporting policy. Janet, another desk operator, suggested to The Daily Wire that she was out for a 1 p.m.- 2 p.m. lunch break. The phone call to Covarrubias’s office had been made at 12:57 p.m., however, and it was evident that she did not want to speak on the matter because her secretary (or colleague handling her phone) abruptly hung up the phone.

Photo editor Marc Martin was the only Times’ editor willing to speak on the issue after being called, although he said he has little knowledge of the said reporting policies because it is not his department.

"I don’t know the circumstances of every story or why it needs to be in the story, so I don't know the 'do's and 'don't's of why they don't report it," he said.

No other staff member from the paper has responded to the inquiries thus far, and it's evident that they do not plan to respond. The LA Times has no reason to respond to The Daily Wire's inquiries. As far as it is concerned, there is no need to report on the race of the actors in a story unless it can further its narrative of "white oppressor" vs. "black victim."


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