PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The radio calls go out. A Philadelphia Police officer is down.
Officer Jesse Hartnett is shot three times in the front seat of his squad car. The act, prosecutors say, was committed by Edward Archer, in the name of Islam.
It was labeled terrorism.
The headlines and banners flashed across the news. CBS Evening News ran the story of the officer ambushed.
The coverage here at CBS 3 dominated news cycles for days and days.
On Monday, President Donald Trump accused reporters of ignoring and under-covering 78 acts of terrorism. The shooting of Philadelphia’s Officer Hartnett was on that list.
With a picture of Officer Harnett, we went out and jogged a few memories. “His face looks a little familiar,” said Carla Dotson of Southwest Philadelphia.
“I’ve seen it on the news, and we know Donald Trump is a little extreme in his positions,” said Reverend Duane Quamina.
“It was on the news,” said Ray Farnesi of South Philadelphia. “A newscast said he was shot while sitting in his patrol car.”
That’s correct, but once we revealed why we were asking about this case, answers seemed to change. “Yes, I agree with them,” Farnesi said of the Trump administration’s claim that the story was under-reported.
We searched our archives. Here’s what we found.
In all of 2016, there were 243 news reports on the shooting of Officer Jesse Hartnett. In January 2016 alone, there were 166. In fact, station archives show in the week following the shooting, stories ran around the clock.
“I didn’t see it,” Farnesi said.
The Trump administration on Tuesday afternoon, made a case for explaining why the list was released. “Many of them haven’t gotten the attention they deserved,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer. “It’s becoming too often that we’re seeing these attacks not get the spectacular attention they deserve.”
Senator Pat Toomey was silent on the issue and a spokesperson said he will not be commenting. Senator Bob Casey said in a statement, “It’s a bizarre statement by the President. Instead of being the nation’s media critic in chief, President Trump should focus on keeping America safe.”
A spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney weighed in, telling Eyewitness News that the lack of truth in Trump’s statement is self evident to anyone who was in Philadelphia.