Cutting Room Floor: CBS Edits Out 911 Call Warning Cops of Gun

News & Politics

Seemingly taking a page out of NBC’s playbook Tuesday night, the CBS Evening News edited out part of a 9-1-1 call warning LAPD officers responding to an attack at a Burlington clothing store that gunshots were heard. It’s was critical context missing from the event that resulted in the accidental death of a 14-year-old girl hiding in a dressing room with her mother while it was later discovered the attacker did not have a gun.

Now, CBS and national correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti did play a soundbite of a 9-1-1 call at the very beginning of the report, but it left out the part about the gun:

[Cuts to video]

9-1-1 CALLER: I had a hostile customer in my store attacking – attacking customers.

VIGLIOTTI: 9-1-1 calls and surveillance video captured the chaos and confusion as 24-year-old Daniel Elena-Lopez entered the North Hollywood Burlington clothing store and launched his attack.

Vigliotti also claimed that the suspect had simply “stood at the end of the aisle” when he was shot. In reality, he was trying to evade officers.

Let’s compare that to how ABC’s World News Tonight and Los Angles correspondent Zohreen Shah reported on the shooting:

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SHAH: LAPD saying the incident happened when police responded to 9-1-1 calls of an active shooter at this North Hollywood Burlington last Thursday, the day before Christmas Eve.

CALLER: It’s just — it’s –it’s just — shots.

911 OPERATOR: So he shot the gun?

CALLER: Yes.

SHAH: The suspect, identified as Daniel Elena-Lopez. LAPD say they later discovered he was armed with a bike lock and not a gun. He can be seen in surveillance video attacking multiple customers.

The voice in both recordings appears to be the same person.

Vigliotti did note that officers “received calls of shots fired,” but never played them for CBS viewers. He also seemed to be on a mission to smear the officers because he ended his segment by tossing out this context-free stat: “The LAPD has shot and killed 18 people this year, more than double compared to last year…”

The only 9-1-1 audio NBC Nightly News shared was of a woman telling people to “evacuate the building.” Correspondent Emilie Ikeda also reported that there were “9-1-1 calls capturing the chaos and conflicting reports of what weapon the man was carrying.

Shea also spoke with Lt. Travis Norton of the California Association of Tactical Officers, a police union, who explained that “These officers that went inside the Burlington Coat Factory were faced with what we call some of the characteristics of a crisis, which are uncertainty. They’re making decisions based on confusing, ambiguous, and sometimes even conflicting information.”

CBS’s omission of critical context for an officer-involved shooting was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Ameriprise and Prevagen. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund. CBS Evening News has also asked you to text anchor Norah O’Donnell at (202) 217-1107.

The transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
December 28, 2021
6:42:19 p.m. Eastern

(…)

ZOHREEN SHAH: LAPD saying the incident happened when police responded to 9-1-1 calls of an active shooter at this North Hollywood Burlington last Thursday, the day before Christmas Eve.

CALLER: It’s just — it’s –it’s just — shots.

911 OPERATOR: So he shot the gun?

CALLER: Yes.

SHAH: The suspect, identified as Daniel Elena-Lopez. LAPD say they later discovered he was armed with a bike lock and not a gun. He can be seen in surveillance video attacking multiple customers.

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: Hey, slow down, slow down. Let me take point with the rifle.

SHAH: Several officers with guns drawn responding to the scene, finding one of the victims bloodied on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED OFFICER: She’s bleeding, she’s bleeding.

SHAH: Police opened fire, shooting and killing Lopez. One of their bullets also went through a wall, striking Valentina.

Her family saying, she had her entire life ahead of her, with dreams of becoming an American citizen and an engineer to help others. Her father tonight demanding that the officers who killed his daughter are held responsible.

CBS Evening News
December 28, 2021
6:38:46 p.m. Eastern

MAJOR GARRETT: The parents of the 14-year-old girl killed in a clothing store dressing room by a Los Angeles police officer’s stray bullet called for justice today, one day after police released video showing the chaotic moments before the shooting. Here is CBS’s Jonathan Vigliotti.

[Cuts to video]

[ONSCREEN HEADLINE: Family Seeks Justice After Deadly LAPD Shooting]

9-1-1 CALLER: I had a hostile customer in my store attacking – attacking customers.

JONATHAN VIGLIOTTI: 9-1-1 calls and surveillance video captured the chaos and confusion as 24-year-old Daniel Elena-Lopez entered the North Hollywood Burlington clothing store and launched his attack.

The suspect entered with his bike, which led to security asking him to leave. After he refused, he chased one woman down an escalator, then carried on his assault, using a heavy bike lock to beat another customer.

Within minutes, officers arrived at the scene. On the way, police say, they received calls of shots fired. Body camera footage shows their guns drawn as they enter the store. As they made their way up to the store escalator, Elena-Lopez, seen on another surveillance camera, continued to hit and kick his victim behind a display.

Officers followed a trail of blood and rescued the injured woman and then shot and killed Lopez as he stood at the end of the aisle. He was declared dead at the scene. No gun was found on him.

(…)

6:40:56 p.m. Eastern

VIGLIOTTI: And the shooting has sparked debate over police tactics. The LAPD has shot and killed 18 people this year, more than double compared to last year, Major.

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