New York Magazine, the Cleveland Sun-Times, U.K. Daily Mail, CNN, and other mainstream media journalists are attempting to push the claim that Dallas Police Headquarters attacker James Boulware used an “automatic weapon” in his assault shortly after midnight, in addition to crudely-manufactured black powder pipe bombs.
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) June 13, 2015
Some, like CNN reporter Nick Valencia, insisted that police claimed that automatic weapons were used. There seems to be a single point of contact for that claim.
The sole source for that claim was alleged eyewitnesses.
Chief David O. Brown merely shared their claims at a time when facts were in short supply and rumors were rampant.
Again at 15:11 of the same press conference, Chief Brown makes very clear that it was witnesses said that the fire was from fully-automatic weapons. Chief Brown never made that claim independently, nor did he ascribe those claims to Dallas Police officers who engaged the attacker.
Chief Brown was merely relating claims made by the same laypeople who thought there were multiple shooters.
You can watch the entire press conference below.
Initial Press Conference
Later in the day, Chief Brown conducted a second press conference. At no point during the press conference does Chief Brown claim that automatic weapons were used.
Second Press Conference
Video of the shooting captured from a rooftop bar across the street from the Dallas Police headquarters captured clear audio of the gun shots fired in the assault. At no point is there any audio suggesting that there was automatic weapons fire. All gunshots in the following video were semi-automatic only.
Video of Part of the Shooting
The shots captured in the exchange were all quite clearly semi-automatic, and were not fired at a cyclic (fully-automatic) rate.
Here is a video that clearly shows the difference between fully-automatic and semi-automatic fire.
Difference Between Fully-Automatic and Semi-Automatic Gunfire
Let’s be very clear: the media is taking the word of bar patrons with no known weapons training as gospel, and reporting those claims as fact.
This was not the media reporting fact, but relating uninformed views from hysterical witnesses, many of whom had been drinking.
This was journalistic malpractice.