A former director of data science at Thomson Reuters said he was fired for sharing research on the company’s internal social media platform that showed police killed more unarmed white people than black people and that the Black Lives Matter movement allegedly caused the deaths of thousands.
Zac Kriegman, who worked at Thomson Reuters for six years before being fired last summer, claimed he was let go from his $350,000 job because he stood against the company’s reporting conventions on BLM in order to dispel what the ‘false narrative’ that black people were the largest victim of police violence.
In a piece first published on Bari Weiss’s Substack, Common Sense, Kriegman said he shared with collogues concerns that reports saying unarmed black people are killed by police at a disproportionately higher rate than their white counterparts was not accurate.
The Washington Post, which has led the effort to document fatal police shootings, found that police had killed 3,024 white people and 1,596 black people since 2015.
The findings highlight that black people were disproportionately affected by the shootings as they make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, but Kriegman said the rhetoric was incomplete and when he tried proving it, he said he received backlash from fellow white co-workers.
‘I was publicly derided as a ‘troll,’ ‘confused,’ ‘laughable,’ and ‘not worth engaging with or even attempting to have an intelligent conversation’ with,’ Kriegman wrote.
Zac Kriegman, a former director of data science at Thomson Reuters, claimed he was wrongfully fired after sharing his research on race and police killings with colleagues
Kriegman’s research claimed that black people were not disproportionately killed by police when compared to their white counterparts and Black Lives Matter’s instance that they were fueled anti-cop sentiments that caused crime and violence to rise in communities of color
The Washington Post’s reported that while more unarmed white people have been killed by police since 2015, Black people have been disproportionately affected as they only represent 13 percent of the population but make up 1,596 of the deaths so far
Thomson Reuters said it does not discuss specific employee issues and that ‘Reuters, the news division of Thomson Reuters, reports on topics related to race and equality and the BLM organization in a fair, unbiased and independent manner, consistent with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles’.
Kriegman had argued that rather at looking at the population as a whole to see who was truly more impacted by police violence, reporters needed to instead take into account what racial groups police felt more threatened from.
To this end, Kriegman cited the FBI’s research into the racial demographics of those who had killed or assault police officers.
The FBI’s data, which records violence against officers from 2010 to 2019, found that there were 199 instances of black people attacking officers but 537 cases of where white people were the offenders.
He said these instances better aligned with the Washington Posts findings, concluding that unarmed black people are not disproportionately affected by the police killings.
Kriegman added that the rhetoric that they were only fueled anti-police sentiments, which he claimed has led to the uptick in crime nationwide, specifically in predominantly black neighborhoods.
He cited the Ferguson Effect, a controversial theory that claimed crime rose nationwide following backlash against police over the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.
Although the theory has been disputed, with crime upticks only recorded in large cities, Kriegman said Black Lives Matter’s claims have led to the same results now.
‘I have avidly followed the research on the movement and its impacts, which has led me, inexorably, to the conclusion that the claim at the heart of the movement, that police more readily shoot black people, is false and likely responsible for thousands of black people being murdered in the most disadvantaged communities in the country.’
Kriegman claimed that rather than using population figures as a whole, journalists should use who police feel threatened by, citing the FBI’s data that shows more white people have killed or assaulted police officers between 2010 and 2019
Kriegman claimed that the higher ups at Thomson Reuter ignored the alleged bullying he faced. He has filed a complaint with Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination for being allegedly ‘fired in retaliation for complaining about a racially hostile work environment’
Kriegman said he wanted his research to open up conversations into how they could better report the issue and ‘accurately’ depict the reality of police shootings.
Instead, he saw his post get taken down because it was allegedly ‘antagonistic’ and ‘provocative’.
He claimed one colleague at Thomson Reuters had told him: ‘I do not believe that there is any point in trying to engage in a blow-by-blow refutation of your argument, and I will not do so.
‘My unwillingness to do so doesn’t signal the strength of your argument. If someone says, ‘The KKK did lots of good things for the community—prove me wrong,’ I’m not obligated to do so.’
Kriegman claimed his bosses at Thomson Reuters stayed quiet while he endured the criticism, and when he emailed HR about the alleged attacks, he was told he would be fired if he discussed his experience on the company’s internal channels.
The data scientist said he doubted the company would fire him and proceeded to email his colleague and company leadership about the situation, and he was terminated three days later.
Kriegman filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination in July for being allegedly ‘fired in retaliation for complaining about a racially hostile work environment’.
The case is the latest instance of a professional in journalism claiming they received backlash for failing to conform to a woke mob.
Former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss quit her job at the paper in 2020 with a resignation letter that went viral where she railed against the liberal newspaper’s alleged bias and said it no longer served journalism.
Weiss claimed that the papers private Slack channel was filled with bullying and harassment against those who failed to conform to woke ideology and said the editors ‘live in total fear of internet mobs.’
Former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss (pictured) quit her job at the paper in 2020 after claiming their Slack channel was dominated by woke bullies
Former New York Times tech reporter Nellie Bowles (above) announced she left the New York Times to work for her wife’s Common Sense Substack after being ‘bullied’ at the paper
‘Normal people who watch others being attacked, they have a perfectly human response – they stay quiet,’ Weiss said on her Honestly podcast last fall. ‘The threat of public shaming has been massively, enormously, amazingly effective. It has led to an epidemic of self-silencing and fear.’
Weiss’ wife, Nellie Bowles, a former tech reporter at the Times, said she too was bullied out last November by colleagues who allegedly leaked stories to embarrass her.
She claimed she began at the paper as a ‘very happy, lauded bulldog liberal of a writer’ but that the outlet and the culture in general shifted toward a ‘charismatic new ideology’ that she felt pressured to ‘cheer on or otherwise carefully ignore.’
‘When I didn’t, I became suspect,’ she wrote. ‘My colleagues started leaking stories to other publications to embarrass me.’
Bowles added that she was particularly bothered by being contacted by a magazine reporter who was asked her about her co-workers being angry at her for going to CHAZ [Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone] in Seattle during the racial justice protests in 2020.
‘Efforts by well-meaning bosses to intervene only made it more frenzied,’ she continued. ‘At first it was crazy-making, like a breakup or a betrayal, a feeling so many in my position have written about beautifully already in this newsletter.’
CHAZ was a protest movement that closed off six blocks of Seattle for over three weeks by protesters after the Seattle Police Department left its building within the zone. Four shootings took place in the police-free zone during the protest. Bowles visited and published a story about the movement in August.
Bowles said that those who have made similar decisions made it easier and ‘more fun’ to quit and get ‘outside’ the ‘old newspapers and mainstream TV networks’ which she slammed as ‘docile and predictable.’
Conservative talk show host Amber Athey also slammed woke culture after she was fired from her Washington D.C. radio station for making fun of Vice President Kamala Harris’ clothes in March.
Amber Athey, a co-presenter on conservative news talk station WMAL tweeted about Kamala Harris wearing a brown suit during the State of the Union address that was deemed ‘racist’
‘Kamala looks like a UPS employee — what can brown do for you? Nothing good, apparently,’ Athey wrote in the March 1 tweet using an old UPS tagline
Amber Athey, who worked on a morning show at news station WMAL, wrote a joking tweet about the color of the suit Harris was wearing.
‘Kamala looks like a UPS employee — what can brown do for you? Nothing good, apparently,’ Athey wrote in the March 1 tweet, referring to an old UPS tagline.
She wrote on The Spectator, a conservative magazine she works for, that there was no sign of any offense being caused by the pithy comment until a few days later.
‘All of a sudden, the Kamala tweet was being re-framed as racist and dozens of Twitter accounts were bragging about contacting my employers about my ‘bigotry,” Athey wrote.
These clashes against woke culture were not secluded to only America, as Canadian Broadcasting Corporation journalist Tara Henley made the stunning claim that she quit the company in January due to ‘woke’ policies implemented by senior staffers that hindered her ability to do her job.
Writing on her own Substack, slammed CBC brass for what she called ‘a radical political agenda that originated on Ivy League campuses in the United States.’
She claimed the news outlet has yielded to ‘far-left ideology’ that has left employees obsessing over race and which demographic should receive more coverage.
Renowned Canadian media personality Tara Henley has announced she’s quit the company due to ‘woke’ policies implemented by senior staffers that hindered her ability to do her job
The journalist took to Twitter to post a piece she penned detailing her reasoning behind her resignation, while simultaneously advertising her new Substack account, a platform where writers can get paid to publish their work