Ed Gallek, capable of telling half a story with the best of them, recently brought his Fox 8 I-Team crew to Parma, Ohio, to interview a homeowner.
The Parma man is upset, you see, because a Black Amazon driver delivering something to his house noticed that, among his Trump signs and pro-police signs, he had one that read "Black Liars Murder" and took immediate offense, throwing the sign into the street.
The sign, in Gallek's opinion, could possibly be considered racially offensive. It's really a question that's open for debate. But that debate will happen somewhere else, with another audience, because Fox 8 felt it was offensive enough to blur the sign in its video coverage and not even repeat what it said on air or in its story online so that the audience could see for themselves.
What Gallek is after here is the real story about an old white dude who, with a straight face, explains that after the Amazon driver picked up the sign and hurled it into the street, he called police because he was worried and felt like he was in danger.
“I’m afraid. I’m an old guy. I can’t run,” he said. “I said, ‘I don’t want to discuss this.’ You know, he’s a stranger. He just mocked me and called me a coward and held up the packages he was supposed to deliver.”
Amazon, to its maybe possibly sorta credit but not really, basically told Fox 8 in a statement that the sign was offensive but that they will also investigate the incident.
“Hate, racism or discrimination have no place in our society and are certainly not tolerated by Amazon. However, the behavior in the video does not reflect the high standards we have for our drivers; we will investigate internally and appropriate action will be taken if needed.”
Unfortunately, Parma police are also still on the "case."
Parma Police Department Public Information Officer Lt. Daniel Ciryak told Cleveland.com this week that charges — criminal trespassing and criminal damaging — are likely.
“Every campaign season there are some signs that come up missing, but this wasn’t a political sign. This guy is making his statement for whatever his beliefs are. Now, it’s obviously up to interpretation, but you’re always going to have somebody who is going to push the envelope," Ciryak said. "I’m sure it’s offensive to some people and not offensive to others. But if they find something offensive, call the police. We can go out there and talk to the residents, the building department and law department to find out if it is crossing that line. Obviously, people have their First Amendment right, but regardless of the sign that’s up there, you can’t just walk up if you disagree with it and rip it out of somebody’s yard. You have to respect other people’s property and their political views as well.”
This story was originally published by our sister paper Cleveland Scene and republished with permission.
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