For the 2nd Mass Shooting in a Row, Media Allowed to Trample Evidence at Shooter’s Home
Article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.
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An assumption could be made that a secondary crime scene in a potential matter of national security would be treated with delicacy and scrutiny — and would be guarded against contamination from outside parties. But almost immediately following the mass shooting in Orlando — exactly as what happened after the San Bernardino massacre — mainstream media breached the ostensible crime scene at the apartment of key suspect, Omar Mateen.
This time, however, reporters didn’t need to break through a barricaded but unguarded residence — the FBI simply left the door unlocked after its initial investigation. Actually, make that two doors — the apartment’s front and back doors were not only left unlocked, they weren’t barricaded, even with the ubiquitous yellow crime scene tape.
And just like San Bernardino — when a slew of reporters rummaged through the shooters’ belongings — media crews made a mockery of the FBI in live time, snapping pictures, pushing items around, tweeting in real time pictures from Mateen’s bathroom. Pure sensationalist gawkery on display.
As an independent media narrator of a well-assembled video of this farce wryly queried, “I’m started to think this is actually part of a social experiment to prove how many people are not paying attention — or just watching Dancing With the Stars and football, and just don’t care.”
Leading the corporate media de facto breach of Mateen’s apartment was the Daily Mail who — as the TRUTHstreammedia video shows — entered the apartment less than 24 hours after the massacre at Pulse nightclub.
There have been better-protected homes of killers in cases where a single person was murdered.
After controversy raged following the similar media breach of the home of San Bernardino shooters Sayed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, it would be a safe assumption the FBI or DHS would better protect the scene of a crucial investigation — if not as a matter of national security, at least as a criminal probe.
But reporters again rifled through belongings with abandon — showing evidence left behind by the feds seemingly incongruent with investigatory integrity.
For instance, Mateen’s expired firearm carry license had been putatively left on the kitchen counter — as a reporter pokes it with a pen and pans the camera in for a close-up. Considering Mateen carried out one of the most deadly non-governmental attacks on citizens in U.S. history, you would think the FBI might have collected the expired carry permit as critical evidence.
Booklets on Islam were also oh-so-conveniently located near the expired license — and while the CIA recently reported no evidence links the killer to the so-called Islamic State, the unlocked doors and location of these items not confiscated as evidence certainly seems a bit odd, if not outrightly staged.
“Is this the Geraldo Show?” the video’s narrator intones.
Clearly, the intrusion of multiple media outlets on the scene of an ongoing criminal investigation looks awful for the FBI — but similarly shows a complete lack of journalistic integrity and ethics. There is no evidence any of these outlets contacted the FBI or other authorities to report the lack of security at Mateen’s apartment — or to request permission to enter.
In any investigation, items are bagged, catalogued, and taken as evidence. Dusting for fingerprints is performed. DNA evidence is collected. But seemingly crucial pieces were left behind, in the open, and wholly unprotected in the unlocked residence.
In fact, there is a logical inconsistency in the lack of protection at Mateen’s apartment versus the complete refusal by authorities to release any records about the shooter.
A number of media outlets have requested the release of 911 audio — in which Mateen reportedly called to pledge his allegiance to ISIS, as well as from victims inside Pulse — but have been thwarted by the City of Orlando. Attempts to obtain records from Mateen’s time as a corrections officer, his tenure as a security guard, and other relevant information, have similarly been refused.
Why would Mateen’s previously public information be guarded more diligently than his physical address — including some items of critical import left inside?
As with many other aspects of the massacre in Orlando, the live media spectacle in Omar Mateen’s apartment simply doesn’t add up.