travisfaison

A Sanford man was shot and killed by a Sanford Police officer Wednesday, and the timing — in conjunction with the lack of solid information regarding the shooting — has sparked bigger-than-average media coverage, heated discussions on social media and early comparisons to recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City.

So here’s what we know — Travis Faison of Sanford, who’s been listed as anywhere between 23 and 26 years old in media reports — was shot and killed by a police officer on Magnolia Street (a few blocks from downtown Sanford, behind Bojangles on N. Horner Boulevard) between 1:40 and 2 p.m. Wednesday. Various media outlets have reported that the Sanford Police officer (whose identity has not been released) was in the area to serve Faison a warrant. The State Bureau of Investigations is taking the lead on investigating the incident, as is procedure when an officer is involved in a shooting like this.

Update: 12:54 p.m. — ABC11 reports SBI statement that Faison was armed; warrant was for attempted murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon

ABC11videoBeyond that, details are murky. ABC11 was one of the first Raleigh-area media outlets at the scene, and spent a good portion of the afternoon reporting on the shooting, breaking into regular programming at times with footage from a news helicopter. The station’s most recent story on its website includes several quotes from family and friends of Faison, many of whom are comparing the shooting to Ferguson, claiming Faison was “lying down in his house, getting ready for work” when he was shot. ABC11’s reporting has drawn the most criticism of the major Raleigh stations, many of whom are accusing the station of encouraging the comparisons to recent deaths of black men at the hands of white police officers.

We understand the tension growing with this story and the potential for it becoming a more national story. The family and witnesses are the only side being heard at the moment because of the silent protocol the other side must adhere to. The following is a timeline of the reporting — both from the media and from social media — of Wednesday’s shooting and its aftermath.

Looking back through Twitter from 20 hours ago (a LONG search when using “Sanford” because of the surprising number of folks who still tweet about Sanford & Son), this was the first mention of Wednesday’s shooting we could find, from the pastor of First Apostolic Church in Sanford. It’s possible the tweet is unrelated, but it comes moments before others begin tweeting about the shooting, and approximately 20-30 minutes after the incident. (NOTE: The times in these tweets appear to be an hour ahead for some reason when embedding them).

The next two tweets come from @lilpulleyENT

ABC11 followed up with a tweet and a short story at 2:47 p.m., offering a link to a story that would be updated throughout the day. The Sanford Herald followed up with its first tweet at 3:08 p.m., and was the first media outlet to report the victim’s name. At 3:34 p.m., approximately two hours after the incident, ABC11 broke into regular programming with live footage from its newscopter.

The first Twitter trace of support for Sanford Police came from @jclcsw325 around 4 p.m.

It’s quickly followed by the first #blacklivesmatter and #disarmcopsnow tweet.

https://twitter.com/FabulouslyAndy/status/542803131474538496

And at 4:18 p.m., here comes WRAL. The below tweet is significant for a few reasons. First, it tells us nothing, other than the fact that police are blocking the streets in and around Magnolia Street in Sanford, NC. Despite the fact that ABC11 has already given wall-to-wall coverage of the shooting and the Sanford Herald has already released the victim’s name, WRAL’s Adam Owens is tweeting what he knows from official sources, which is nothing. Bravo. In an era where it’s more important to get the news and the names and the quotes before everyone else (which in the past has led to terrific news blunders), WRAL is taking its time with a potentially explosive story affecting many people. Also, the first comment on his tweet is kinda hilarious.

At 4:21 p.m., we get our first racist tweet (bright side: it took two-plus hours).

https://twitter.com/MM_Thomas25/status/542806447013498880

At 4:34 p.m., NBC17 joins the frey with raw cell phone video of nothing. A few minutes later, it posts its first story. Then they accidentally tell everyone it’s in Stanford.

Around this time, the idiocracy begins. From both sides. For those of you who enjoy a good “SMH,” proceed.

https://twitter.com/TwittuhlessJohn/status/542823547799076864

https://twitter.com/TwittuhlessJohn/status/542828002166726656

https://twitter.com/tsd_x3/status/542830558007791616

https://twitter.com/PyrexCreatedIt/status/542834396664172544

This goes on for a while. At 7:30 p.m., the Sanford Herald posts its final story of the night, hinting at potential protests. Around 9:14 p.m., the tweets start getting more national attention. At 11:12 p.m., WRAL tweets the first photos of fires set on Magnolia Street by family members, the first sign of any protest of the shootings. According to reports, Sanford Police and the fire department answered two calls to fires in the area overnight.

So where are we today? The story continues to pick up steam on Twitter, with many saying Faison was unarmed, a detail that has not been reported by any media outlet. The following is a list of local and regional media outlets who seem to be reporting on this extensively, with the time of their most recent update.


Update: 11:57 a.m. — statement from Sanford Mayor Chet Mann

“I know the community is looking for more information, and I’d like to give it to them,” he said. “I want to ask for calm and cool heads. There’s a lot of information that needs to be brought forward to make people feel better.” — The Sanford Herald


Update: 12:54 p.m. — ABC11 reports SBI statement that Faison was armed; warrant was for attempted murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon

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