Charlotte, North Carolina has erupted into protests since Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by police. As with many cities that respond to police shootings, national cable news media rushed to the city to report on the shooting and the community's response to it.
However, CNN reporters have had a notoriously difficult time on the ground for some of these reports. CNN reporter Don Lemon got into an argument with Marc Lamont Hill on air, Maryland governor Larry Hogan walked out of Lemon's interview and black protesters were not friendly to his questions either.
This week it was CNN host Erin Burnett's turn. The New Yorker didn't even have to leave the comforts of her television study to earn the ire of protesters and local media. Burnett tweeted that her anonymous sources indicated that 70 percent of the protesters arrested in Charlotte "had out of state ID: 'these are not protestors, these are criminals.'"
But Charlotte Observer reporter Mike Persinger called BS, referring to one of their own stories that outlined the arrests.
@ErinBurnett not true according to our reporting in @theobserver: https://t.co/YMWESW2nxX— Mike Persinger (@Mike Persinger) 1474596066.0
He then was attacked by others on Twitter who claimed the report was wrong because the Thursday protests were only going on for a few hours. Persinger noted the report was about the arrests in the first two days of the protest. But like many trolls, some have trouble when faced with facts. Like most reporters who must deal with trolls, Persinger tried to walk away.
@DWFreer @ErinBurnett no, those were all arrests on Wednesday. Tuesday obviously all local. I'm out, y'all believe what you want.— Mike Persinger (@Mike Persinger) 1474652932.0
But new interviews with the police union official and the police department indicated the citation was inaccurate.
"A spokesman for Charlotte’s Fraternal Order of Police told CNN that 70 percent of the protesters arrested in Charlotte this week were from out-of-state," the Charlotte Observer reported. "But he acknowledged Friday that his statement was nothing more than speculation. It was also inaccurate, according to a Charlotte Observer review of police reports."
“I didn’t quote facts,” Todd Walther, spokesman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police, explained. “It’s speculation. That’s all it was.”
Burnett's tweet got over 4,000 retweets. As of publishing this story, she has yet to correct the tweet or tweet out new information about the arrests in Charlotte this week.