Rare: ABC Highlights the Everyday Dangers Cops Face Doing Their Jobs

Over the weekend, ABC’s World News Tonight ran a full report showing video of a Nashville police officer who was shot and wounded as he tried to arrest a woman on drug charges. It’s the kind of event that should get more attention to balance out the tremendous amount of time the media devote to criminal suspects being shot by police under more questionable circumstances.

On Saturday’s show, anchor Whit Johnson teased video of the incident: “Next tonight, the dramatic new video from the police in Nashville. A traffic stop escalating within seconds, ending with a shootout between the driver and police officer. One woman killed and the officer in the hospital. A warning, this video is difficult to watch.”

Correspondent Elwyn Lopez was then seen introducing her pre-recorded piece:

 

 

Tonight, a newly released police video showing the moment a traffic stop in Nashville turned deadly. It happened Friday morning when Officer Josh Baker pulled over this car. The owner, police say, had multiple outstanding warrants, but the person behind the wheel wasn’t the owner.

Employing video both from Officer Josh Baker’s bodycam, plus other video that is possibly dashcam footage, the interaction between Officer Baker and motorist Nika Holbert was shown in which, after Baker tried to handcuff her, Holbert ran to her car and tried to escape. Lopez recalled that, after Officer Baker tased her, she pulled a gun on him, and, in the ensuring shootout, he was injured while she was killed.

Last week, World News Tonight also notably showed video of two NYPD police officers who were shot by a gunman after his roommate asked for police assistance. In that case, the CBS Evening News also carried the story on Monday, October 8, as did Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning.

CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell informed viewers:

Tonight, two New York City police officers are recovering after a wild shootout. New video shows officers responding to a call Sunday night and getting ambushed in a stairwell. The suspect fired three shots. Police responded with nearly two dozen. The two officers were grazed. The suspect — who was not hurt — was arrested.

And, on Fox, news reader Jillian Mele recalled:

 

 

The NYPD showing shocking video showing the moment when two officers are shot, one of them saved by his bullet-proof vest. (Clip of shootout) Officials say the two officers narrowly avoided being killed. They are expected to be okay. The officers were responding to a 911 call from the suspect’s roommate hiding in the apartment complex plaza. The suspect is in custody.

News shows on NBC, MSNBC and CNN did not give coverage to either story that demonstrates how dangerous police work can be, and that suspects who resist arrest can be very dangerous.

ABC’s World News Tonight was sponsored in part by Eliquis. Let them know you appreciate them covering such important stories.

Transcripts follow. Click “expand” to read more. 

World News Tonight

March 13, 2021

WHIT JOHNSON: Next tonight, the dramatic new video from the police in Nashville. A traffic stop escalating within seconds, ending with a shootout between the driver and police officer. One woman killed and the officer in the hospital. A warning, this video is difficult to watch. Here’s ABC’s Elwyn Lopez.

ELWYN LOPEZ: Tonight, a newly released police video showing the moment a traffic stop in Nashville turned deadly. It happened Friday morning when Officer Josh Baker pulled over this car. The owner, police say, had multiple outstanding warrants, but the person behind the wheel wasn’t the owner.

NIKA HOLBERT, WOMAN WHO SHOT POLICE OFFICER: I’m really confused about why I’m getting stopped.

OFFICER JOSH BAKER, NASHVILLE POLICE: He’s got several warrants.

HOLBERT: Okay, that has nothing to do with me.

LOPEZ: Authorities say the officer then found what appeared to be drugs while searching 31-year-old Nika Holbert’s bag. The exchange is seemingly calm at first but then escalates within just seconds.

OFFICER BAKER: Do me a favor and turn around.

HOLBERT: No.

OFFICER BAKER: Turn around.

HOLBERT: Don’t put me in handcuffs — I haven’t done anything wrong.

OFFICER BAKER: Ma’am

HOLBERT: No!

LOPEZ: Holbert takes off — the officer chases her. He deploys a taser after she jumps into the car. That’s when police say she pulls out a gun, firing at Baker’s torso. The officer returning fire —

OFFICER BAKER: Twenty-three, I’m hit.

LOPEZ: — before Holbert drives away. Holbert crashed a block away and later died, and the officer was taken to the hospital and was expected do be okay, The case is still under investigation.

(…)

Fox & Friends

March 9, 2021

7:47 a.m. Eastern:

JILLIAN MELE: The NYPD showing shocking video showing the moment when two officers are shot, one of them saved by his bullet-proof vest. 

(Clip of shootout)

Officials say the two officers narrowly avoided being killed. They are expected to be okay. The officers were responding to a 911 call from the suspect’s roommate hiding in the apartment complex plaza. The suspect is in custody.

(…)

CBS Evening News

March 8, 2021

NORAH O’DONNELL: Tonight, two New York City police officers are recovering after a wild shootout. New video shows officers responding to a call Sunday night and getting ambushed in a stairwell. The suspect fired three shots. Police responded with nearly two dozen. The two officers were grazed. The suspect — who was not hurt — was arrested.

(…)

ABC

World News Tonight

March 8, 2021

DAVID MUIR: More of that dramatic scene unfolding here in New York City. Two police officers wounded during a shootout in a Brooklyn apartment building. The video is difficult. Surveillance showing a confrontation in the stairwell — the suspect opening fire. Body cameras showing the firing as police step closer.

CLIP OF OFFICER IN VIDEO: No, no, put the gun down!

MUIR: Horrific scene — one officer saved by his bullet-proof vest — another grazed in the leg. That suspect is now under arrest.

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