CNN weekend anchor Fredricka Whitfield, who called the suspect in a violent shootout at the Dallas Police headquarters "courageous and brave." was under fire Sunday for her "outrageous" words, the host of another show on the same network said Sunday morning.
"Courageous?" said "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter. "The comment was shocking particularly among people who already think channels like CNN take an anti-police tone sometimes."
Early Saturday, James Boulware, a lone gunman, was killed after attacking Dallas police with an assault rifle. Later in the day, Whitfield, during a discussion with CNN legal analyst Philip Holloway, about the Dallas violence, Whitfield commented that it was "very courageous and brave, if not crazy as well to open fire on the police headquarters. Now you have this scene, this standoff. So you believe these are the hallmarks of more than one person's involvement?"
Holloway told her that he thought "the Dallas police did an excellent job handling this situation, and we're very fortunate that no one other than the suspect was injured."
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Stelter said when he woke up, her statement was all over his social media pages, and the Dallas Police Officers' Association is calling for an immediate apology.
"I reached out to CNN's spokeswoman asking for a statement," Stelter said on his program Sunday. "I am told Whitfield will address the comment on air this afternoon and say that she misspoke and she does not believe the gunman was courageous or brave."
But on Sunday, Whitfield didn't apologize but said she merely "misspoke.
"Yesterday during a segment I used the words courageous and brave when discussing the gunman. I misspoke," she said. "And in no way believe the gunman was courageous nor brave. And I'll be right back."
The Fort Worth Police Officers Association slammed Whitfield on Twitter for her statement and demanded an apology. Her comment came just hours after CNN morning anchor Christi Paul, while covering the attack for the network's "New Day" show, took a break from the coverage to enjoy some popcorn and tweet a picture of a smiling picture of herself with it, exclaiming "Glad everyone is OK so far!" and tagging coverage of the shootout, reports Adweek.com:
According to Dallas Police Chief David Brown,
"we're blessed that our officers survived this ordeal."
He said the attack left bullet holes in squad cars where officers had been sitting and in the station's front lobby.
Brown said the man fired multiple shots at the police headquarters, pausing to reload and apparently using an assault rifle and shotgun.
He "meant to kill officers and took time to discharge that weapon multiple times to accomplish ... wanting to harm our officers," Brown added.
After that, police chased the van to Hutchins, a nearby suburb south of the city, where officers surrounded the vehicle and more shots were traded. Several bullets hit police cars but, again, no officers or bystanders were injured.
Officers tried but failed to negotiate with the man, whose actions were reportedly sparked by a custody battle over his son.
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