Fatal Police Shooting: Why Your Comments Were Censored

We try really hard not to censor viewer comments on the KARK and Fox16 Facebook pages.  We want to encourage open discussion and conversation.  We love when our pages are used to make connections and start dialogue between people who wouldn’t otherwise interact.  That’s the good of social media.

However, Facebook can also be used to spread harsh language and racial slurs. It can be used to escalate personal attacks and make threats.  That’s the bad of the medium.

That’s exactly what happened with the January 7 story involving the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old at the hands of North Little Rock Police.  Officers say the teen was spotted with a gun during a routine traffic stop.  They say officers and the suspect struggled over the weapon.  The teen suspect eventually shot at officers and police returned fire killing him, according to a news release from NLRPD. Family and friends of the teen say the situation didn’t go exactly as described and they aren’t getting answers from law enforcement.

Certainly, it’s tragic on all sides.  It’s also a situation where there’s much we still don’t know.

After putting the story on Facebook, users began posting things like “good job police” and “another thug off the streets” which generated backlash.  We had viewers alert us to comments that included threats against the lives of law enforcement. I personally went through and deleted dozens of posts I felt contained harsh language, slurs, threats, or personal attacks unrelated to the story.

I added the following comment from the station accounts to the story thread: “We have had to ban users who posted racial slurs and curse words on this thread. Please keep comments clean. No matter your opinion, please remember parents lost a son.”

It’s unfortunate the story escalated in this capacity.  We don’t want our pages used as a platform to drive a wedge between people.  Our goal is to use the pages to spread content and video to keep Arkansans informed.

For now, we’ll keep the posts up and hope the comments and conversation are respectful moving forward.  If that’s not the case, we’ll have to remove the story from Facebook entirely.  To the best of my knowledge, we’ve only done that once before.

Let’s please keep it civil.

Don’t agree with the stance?  Think we should’ve gone in a different direction?  Let me know in the comments.

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17 thoughts on “Fatal Police Shooting: Why Your Comments Were Censored

  1. I feel that if a teen was out pass curfew with a gun that’s the parents responsibility why was he out with a bunch of other guys after curfew.


  2. The young man could had sneaked out the window. I know what we went through with my son. We are great parents, sometimes kids just get in with wrong crowds. 17, they think their grown. It’s not always the parents fault. My son Thank God, got caught and got a 32 yr prison sentence. Spent 7 years. He got in with the wrong crowd, at age 17. This is such a waist of life. May God give his parents peace, and the public wouldn’t judge the parents.


  3. Its about time! Anytime there is article dealing with an African American on this page is thug this and thug that. Im so happy mark is seeing this. Please continue to watch the comments on ALL posts and THANK YOU!


  4. If this is news why do you allow people to give their opinion about the news. This I very sad for both parties involved. Media fuels the fire in situations like this. Report the facts and leave it at that.


  5. It’s a sad situation but sadly it’s inevitable if the same scenario plays out when a gun is found on a felony stop… believe me it’s a completely different interaction with the police however if anything goes left..this is what can happen.
    Im sure we need to all be honest with ourselves and the reality of the situation. I’m sure it was all cool with all 3 passengers of the vehicle til the blue lights came on and then sadly a bad decision was made….the officer, I’m sure had a split second to make a decision and unfortunately a life was lost but there were many bad decisions before that boy lost his life.


    1. He didnt shoot at all witnesses was there he was only 17 years old with 3 grown adults laying on top of him he didnt pull no gun on them


  6. Freedom of speech does not include personal attacks, hateful speech and most definitely should never include mocking the loss of human life. It’s inappropriate and un-Christian like. Sadly, many adults still do not seem to know better and they must be told that their remarks are inappropriate and inexcusable. Never… I repeat… never should anyone congratulate the person who is responsible for the shooting, even if they were acting in self defense or in the line of duty. That is the most horrible thing I was consistently reading throughout the comments regarding this story. I’m proud of this media outlet for taking action against these online bullies. They are adults and should know better, but unfortunately they have no value for human life.


  7. If nobody can NOT say anything good about CJ….Please see yourself off the page and Let God Handle it! If u and I dont know what reallly happen ITS BEST TO BE QUIET, wait and LISTEN!!! All that back and forth Assuming this and that..PLEASE STOOOP!!!!


  8. Rest In Peace C.J….It really hitting all of us plus the community as well. We just all have to be prepare but thiss was just soo Unexpecting….Really things couldve been done another way around instead of this way. God got this so Let God.


  9. Well I Don’t know the young man personally but think he didn’t deserve to be shot 5 times in the back. The way police put story out does make no sense because if he was on ground with three cops on him how he gone shoot??? Next thing thing is if a officer pat you down and fine something on you they normally get it right then and not wait so sound like there lying and trying to cover some up. I hope the family gets justice by all means he was only 17 no matter if he had a gun or not they still didn’t have to shoot him 5 times in the back and he was defenseless so sad praying for his mom, grandmother and the rest of his family. This just breaks my ♥. R.I.P CJ Gone but not forgotten.


  10. “No matter if he had a gun or not.”
    Are you serious?
    Are you implying that if someone pulled a gun on you and you had a gun you wouldn’t use it?
    You admit you don’t know him but you’re going to try to defend him?
    I saw the video and I feel the police were 100% justified.


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