A global media company was harshly criticized for misreporting a confrontation between police and armed men in Massachusetts.

In the early hours of July 3, the Associated Press initially reported eight armed men stopped traffic for an hour on the Interstate 95 in both directions.

The group allegedly wore military fatigues and carried long rifles while they prevented passage along the Wakefield stretch of East Coast’s north-south arterial road. They claimed U.S. laws did not apply to them.

The news outlet later changed its story to say there were nine men, all of which were unharmed and arrested.

However, the confusion continued on social media with puzzled readers repeating the Associated Press’s conflicting information on exactly how the group was apprehended.

“The men refused to put down their weapons or comply with authorities’s orders,” City of Salem Advisory Board Member Felipe Gonzalez said on Twitter. “And they all somehow lived.”

Twitter user Valerie Monica accused the media outlet of omitting important details because the organization supports extreme anarchist protesters.

“Just curious Associated Press but why [did you publish] such a poorly written article?” she said on Twitter. “You neglected a physical description, race, you know … the important [expletive.] We all know if they were black men, pics, names, ages, and bullet holes would be posted.”

Fellow user The Victor speculated the Associated Press failed to disclose race because all of the armed men were Caucasians.

“Since no one was killed during apprehension, it is safe to assume that it was a vehicle full of white men loaded with weapons,” he said on Twitter. “Just saying, police can actually defuse situations when they want to, huh.”

“I could not find pictures but I am going to assume being white was a strong factor in them leaving the scene alive,” Commonsense said on Twitter.

Race-related speculation carried on indefinitely.

Finally, CBSN Boston anchor Anaridis Rodriguez shared footage of one of the gunmen who was clearly black.

“‘I have expressed to you multiple times we are not anti-government,’ an armed uniformed man speaking with Massachusetts State Police negotiators in the middle of a standoff on 95,” said Rodriguez on Twitter. “It is being live streamed on an Instagram account for the Moorish Constitutional Convention Committee.”

“We are not antigovernment, we are not anti-police, we are not sovereign citizens, we are not black identity extremists,” one of the protesters can be heard saying in the videos. “As specified multiple times to the police that we are abiding by the peaceful journey laws of the United States.”

BL understands the fact protesters confirmed they were “not black identity radicals” should have been sufficient warning that this was no Klan meeting.

The video was shared on the Moorish sovereign citizens’ YouTube channel, which arguably has a large black following.

This also explains why protesters thought they were exempt from U.S. law because they call themselves citizens of their own sovereign nation-state and are subject to neither U.S. nor international rules. None of the group members had weapon permits because they did not consider themselves subject to laws that compel them to apply for one.

The Associated Press finally amended its coverage to confirm 11 armed individuals had parked on the side of the road with hazard lights on. At least one of the two cars ran out of gas.

“You can imagine 11 armed individuals standing with long guns slung on an interstate highway at 2 in the morning certainly raises concerns, and is not consistent with the firearms laws that we have in Massachusetts,” Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason said according to the Western Journal.

“The men refused to put down their weapons or comply with authorities’s orders, claiming to be from a group that ‘does not recognize our laws’ before taking off into a wooded area … [and] suspects surrendered after police tactical teams used armored vehicles to tighten the perimeter around them,” Mason added.

This is not the first time the media and its social media followers prematurely drew conclusions. Former USA Today race and inclusiveness editor Hemal Jhaveri previously blamed “angry” Caucasians for causing the March 22 King Soopers supermarket shooting in Boulder, Colo.

“It is always an angry white man,” she said on Twitter at the time.

However, the suspected gunman was eventually identified to be of Middle Eastern background. Jhaveri was quickly dismissed from USA Today.

Twitter user WordBurn Steinem, who initially thought the gunmen were white, did not admit to his mistake and quickly shifted criticism to other liberal topics.

Being on the left, like being in love, means never having to apologize.

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