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‘Boston’s News Leader’ refuses to report race of perp in knockout attacks

Surveillance footage captured the assault
Surveillance footage captured the assault
WCVB screen grab

“Boston’s News Leader” is how ABC affiliate WCVB sees itself. You may see the station differently after you read its report on a pair of knockout attacks that took place Saturday in Cambridge.

The incident took place outside a furniture store, which has a surveillance camera trained on the entrance and the sidewalk beyond. The video, which may be viewed here, clearly shows the suspect — who is black — walking up behind an unsuspecting couple and clocking the man in the head, causing him to tumble to the pavement.

According to Cambridge police, the suspect then proceeded along the street, sucker-punching a second pedestrian and taking a swing at a third.

Here is WCVB’s account of the two assaults. The one that was captured on video is described second:

A worker at a furniture store in Cambridge, told NewsCenter 5 he tended to two people Saturday at the store. The first, a tourist, said a tall, young man walked up behind him at the intersection of Mass Ave. and Dana Street and swung underneath his umbrella to punch him in the face. He suffered a bruise. [Emphasis added]

The second victim had just left the store with his girlfriend when the suspect rushed him from behind and punched him in the side of the head. That attack, caught on the store's surveillance camera and obtained exclusively by NewsCenter 5, shows the suspect swinging at the victim and then walking away in the direction of Harvard Square.

Alex Farrell of the victims, an employee of furniture store who called police after witnessing the second attack, noted:

[The suspect] wasn't even running; he was just walking casually. So I don't know what was going through his head….

What may have been going through his head was the strong likelihood that no matter how brazen his actions were, the news description of him would omit his race. That seems to be the MO in the vast majority of these cases.

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