Tariq Abu Khdeir was beaten by Israeli police.
The beating Thursday of the 15-year-old Tampa boy, who was vacationing in East Jerusalem, was captured on video. A police spokesman has said that the footage was "edited and biased," but does not dispute that it was the police doing the beating. Yet in Western media, the bludgeoning is almost universally described as being "reported," "alleged" or "apparent."
The New York Times, for instance, referred to "reports that a 15-year-old, American-born cousin of Muhammad [Abu Khdeir] had been brutally beaten and then arrested by Israeli police officers."
A separate article on the Times' website reported that "a video posted online appears to show Israeli police officers beating a Palestinian-American boy." The hedging was all the stranger given the article's headline: "Beating of Palestinian-American Boy Caught on Video."
The Times had plenty of company. Here's how some of the major media outlets have covered the story so far:
NBC News: "Khdeir's parents say he was brutally beaten by Israeli police…"
The Washington Post: "The Post interviewed 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khieder after a video surfaced showing what his family says is three Israeli police officers beating and kicking him."
ABC News: US Teen Allegedly Beaten by Israeli Police Says, 'I Didn't Take Any Part in the Protest'
The list goes on and on.
Notably, in Tampa, where Abu Khdeir is a local child away on vacation, the reporting was frank and direct. "A 15-year-old Tampa boy was badly beaten by Israeli police and booked into a Jerusalem prison following a violent protest late last week," the Tampa Tribune's early and damning story began.
To be sure, it's unclear whether Abu Khdeir was involved in the protests or resisted arrest, as the police allege. More reporting should and will be done around the circumstances leading up to the beating. And there has been no public announcement about any charges filed against the officers involved.
But nobody involved disputes what happened once Abu Khdeir was in police custody and the camera was rolling: he was beaten by Israeli police.
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