Instead of bowing to increasing pressure to issue a public apology for its Pointergate story, KSTP dug in its heels last night with new allegations about Navell Gordon, the man they allege was making "gang signs" with Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges in the infamous Pointergate photo.
KSTP ran a story near the end of the 10 o'clock news stating Gordon was arrested for aggravated robbery August 2 and trumpeting several photos from what appears to be Gordon's Instagram account, listed under the alias "Montana the Real Chief."
The account contains photos taken last summer with a man who appears to be Gordon holding a gun and partying with friends, as well as a closeup of what looks like a semiautomatic weapon. It also shows him making the same pointing symbol KSTP says is the gang sign for the Stick Up Boys, although the station did not mention the gang this time around.
When the Pointergate story broke the station blurred Gordon's face, claiming the story wasn't about him.
"We hid the name of the organization in the original story because neither Gordon nor the group were the focus of the story, Mayor Betsy Hodges was," said Steve Tellier, who delivered the report in lieu of the much-criticized Jay Kolls. "Because others have made [Gordon] the focus we feel it necessary to provide additional context on his history."
So the station dug up dirt on Gordon and trotted out another law enforcement expert to fortify its original allegation that Gordon was making a gang sign by pointing. KSTP at least acknowledges the original Pointergate story seems thin.
"We admit and we reported that the poses struck by Hodges and Gordon appear to be playful, simple pointing and it's hard to understand why such a seemingly simple photo could be potentially dangerous, but police say the mere existence of it could put the public and possibly police in danger," Tellier said last night.
That quote is perhaps most telling. KSTP continues to parrot the official line fed to it by law enforcement officials, without acknowledging the racist undertones of its original story.
Mayor Hodges released a statement yesterday addressing #pointergate and her role in the incident.
"When I meet people, I don't know if they have ever been arrested for or convicted of embezzlement, or domestic assault, or shoplifting, or murder, or burglary, or driving under the influence, gun or drug possession, or too many parking tickets," the mayor wrote. "I have no way of knowing, nor do I ask. Frankly, if I did know that someone had a criminal past, it wouldn't prevent me from talking with that person. It certainly wouldn't prevent me from working on a Get Out The Vote drive with that person. That's the kind of mayor Minneapolis chose."