The family of Vincent Demario Truitt is still demanding accountability (Opinion: Biased reporting by media)

The Revolutionary Report

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Vincent Demario Truitt and his paternal grandmotherPhoto by Keyanna Jones, shared with the permission of Venethia Cook-Lewis, Mother

SAY HIS NAME: Vincent Demario Truitt!!! Why is it important to say the name of Vincent Demario Truitt? Aside from the fact that his 19th birthday just passed (2-2-2022), it is important to say the name Vincent Demario Truitt because he could have been my son...my cousin....my neighbor or any one of my students. It is important to say the name of Vincent Demario Truitt because he was another BLACK CHILD in the state of Georgia, murdered by police, whose name has been smeared by the media and law enforcement officials. Vincent Truitt was one of many children who have been adultified and criminalized by society, particularly police, simply because he was black. Although he was only 17 years old at the time of his death, Vincent Truitt was referred to as a "man" in several news reports. The Associated Press reported: "AUSTELL, Ga. (AP) — A man shot by police in suburban Atlanta during a chase has died. Vincent Demario Truitt, 17, of Atlanta died Tuesday after being shot by Cobb County police, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation......One of the men brandished a handgun, the GBI said. He was shot by a Cobb County officer, who hasn’t been identified" (https://apnews.com/article/f8bed170455d6c8d67f6caff16fe966d).

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Vincent Truitt pictured with his GFN Apparel, and his mother, Venethia at his gravesitePhotos by Venethia Cook Lewis

Now contrast the report of Vincent Truitt's death, to reporting on the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, the white 17- year old who wielded an assault rifle and shot protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse was the same age as Vincent Truitt; but the media has consistently referred to Rittenhouse as a "boy" or "teen"..... even at the age of 18, having reached adulthood. The Associated Press reported on November 2, 2021: "Rittenhouse, now 18, is charged with killing two men and wounding a third during the summer of 2020 with an assault-style rifle. The one-time aspiring police officer could get life in prison if convicted. The 'teenager' traveled to Kenosha from his home in Illinois, just across the Wisconsin state line, after protests broke out over the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a white Kenosha police officer." The same publication referred to Vincent Truitt as a man at the age of 17; but still called Kyle Rittenhouse a teenager at the age of 18. (https://apnews.com/article/kyle-rittenhouse-wisconsin-shootings-homicide-gun-politics-fb9a374d697f612a1f09d42d31f0fe77)

The difference in the reporting of the two cases is just one example of how the media, in cooperation with law enforcement, promotes the narrative that black children should be treated and punished as adults. Conversely, they send the message that white teens (even as they become adults), are to be treated with "kid gloves." What is particularly disturbing, is that initial reports from law enforcement agencies regarding the cases of black teens killed by police are often false; but they are never corrected in the media, even after subsequent investigations reveal the true facts of a case. In the case of Vincent Truitt, he was said to have brandished a gun at Officer Max Karneol; but body cam footage showed that it was unclear what might have been in the hand of Vincent Truitt as he ran away from Max Karneol. Vincent Truitt exited the vehicle he was in, and was shot less than 2 seconds after he was out of the vehicle. How could Karneol have known exactly what was in the hand of Vincent Truitt, as his back was turned, and both were running? Click the link to watch the video and decide for yourself: https://youtu.be/tGUqURRWrT0 (courtesy of Carter Media Group/YouTube).

Vincent Truitt was accused of brandishing a weapon at a police officer, just as in the case of 17-year old Laquan McDonald, who was murdered by former Chicago Police Officer, James Van Dyke, in 2014. It was initially alleged that young Mr. McDonald assaulted Van Dyke with a knife; but dash cam footage proved otherwise. According to an NBC News report in 2019, the Office of the Inspector General investigated the reports given by officers present during the shooting and found several inconsistencies with the dash cam footage that was eventually released. The following is an excerpt from the NBC News report: "The report also revealed that at least two officers, who were not fired after the inspector general's investigation, untruthfully claimed they heard Van Dyke tell McDonald to drop a small weapon he was holding, and that the teen repeatedly ignored the officers' calls to stay down. The false statements served to 'mischaracterize the events leading up to the McDonald shooting, and to thereby bolster a false narrative which might offer justification for the shooting,' the report said. The report found that the officers not only fabricated the details, but that they would also not have been able to hear any interaction between Van Dyke and McDonald from where they were standing during the encounter" (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/inspector-general-report-shows-least-16-officers-involved-cover-laquan-n1064401 Oct. 2019). The same can be said for the case of Vincent Demario Truitt: Officers gave reports that were inconsistent with body cam footage, in an attempt to justify the murder of an unarmed child.

Here are the facts in the case of Vincent Truitt:

On the evening of July 13, 2020 into the early morning of July 14, 2020, Vincent Truitt and Torodd Woods were riding in a car driven by Kewaun Robinson, who picked them up around 10pm. Vincent Truitt was the front seat passenger, and Torodd Woods was the rear seat passenger in the 2014 Nissan Altima driven by Robinson. Unbeknownst to either passenger, the car driven by Robinson had been reported stolen. As the trio drove around, they arrived at a Quik Trip gas station, where officers were dispatched on report of the vehicle being spotted. Officers attempted a pit maneuver, but were unsuccessful. At the same time, Officer Max Karneol was on routine patrol on in the area where Six Flags Parkway turns into Riverside Parkway, near the "Bluffs." Upon observing a Nissan approaching him, which fit the description of the Altima that had been reported as possibly stolen, Karneol turned his vehicle around while on South Service Road. Officer Karneol then began travelling in the same direction of the alleged stolen vehicle going toward I-20. Another patrol vehicle intentionally struck the Nissan driven by Robinson as Karneol was behind it. The Nissan driven by Robinson came out of the pit maneuver initiated by another officer and began driving towards the Bluffs area of Austell, where the driver turned into a warehouse parking lot, and drove behind the warehouse. When the vehicle stopped, both Robinson and Vincent Truitt exited the vehicle and ran away from the officers in pursuit. While Vincent Demario Truitt’s back was turned away from Max Karneol, Karneol intentionally discharged his firearm twice, striking Vincent Truitt in the lower back, near his buttocks and back of his shoulder. Those shots were fatal, killing Vincent Truitt. Despite reports by law enforcement, no life-saving measures were taken. (https://www.11alive.com/article/news/crime/vincent-truitt-cobb-county-shooting-body-camera/85-c1806be4-fcfe-4fab-93eb-fe04c5a38abb).

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Andrae Truitt, father of Vincent Demario Truitt and female relative stand at a rally at the GA State CapitolAndrae Truitt/ Facebook/ JusticeForVincentTruitt

The family of Vincent Demario Truitt has tirelessly pressed the Cobb County District Attorney, Flynn Broady, Jr., to present this case to a Criminal Grand Jury, but to no avail. Despite Police Chief Tim Cox contradicting himself more than once, and his claims about Vincent brandishing a weapon being refuted by body cam footage, the District Attorney's office of Cobb County refuses to hold Max Karneol accountable for the murder of Vincent Demario Truitt. Through their attorneys, Jackie Patterson, Gerald A. Griggs and Maria Banjo, the family of Vincent Demario Truitt has now filed a $150 Million federal lawsuit against Cobb County for the wrongful death of the teen. When asked by a reporter, how one would justify such a large lawsuit, Attorney Gerald A. Griggs replied, "it sends a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated." The lawsuit filed by the family is the largest lawsuit filed in federal court for an officer-involved fatal shooting (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j5qXQAn-8Y Courtesy of Dontaye Carter, YouTube.com/ Carter Media Group). Until accountability is received, we stand with the family and will continue to say the name of VINCENT DEMARIO TRUITT!!!

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