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How liberal media IGNORED Brianna Kupfer's killer's enormous rap sheet

How liberal media IGNORED Brianna Kupfer's killer's enormous rap sheet

Left-leaning news outlets ignored the lengthy criminal history of Brianna Kupfer’s alleged killer in their coverage – and even omitted his mugshot from their homepages. 

Reports by liberal giants – including the Los Angeles Times, ABC News and CNN – inexplicably left out details about Shawn Laval Smith’s violent past.

A picture of his face was also left off online landing pages after cops released his mugshots in hopes the public might help find him.

The LA Times, in its article, made no mention of Smith’s previous arrests, or the fact he was free during the stabbing on a $1,000 bond related to a Los Angeles County misdemeanor in October 2020.  

Smith is also free on a $50,000 bond in Charleston, South Carolina related to a November 2019 arrest on suspicion of firing a weapon into an occupied vehicle, court records show.

An indictment in that case was handed down on March 16, 2020, just before COVID-19 paralyzed the courts, and the docket shows no further action on the case.

Kupfer, 24, was killed last Thursday during a solo shift at the Croft House store, shortly after texting a friend to say a man in the store was ‘giving her a bad vibe.’

Los Angeles police on Tuesday revealed the identity of their chief suspect and dangled a $250,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Shawn Laval Smith, 31, is wanted for the murder of Brianna Kupfer in Los Angeles

Brianna Kupfer, 24, was killed in a random attack last Thursday while she was working alone in in a Los Angeles furniture store. Shawn Smith (right) is being sought for her death

The Los Angeles Times was among the outlets that made no mention of Smith's criminal background in its coverage

The Los Angeles Times was among the outlets that made no mention of Smith’s criminal background in its coverage

CNN's reporting of the suspected killer was also scant, and lacked detail about his history

CNN’s reporting of the suspected killer was also scant, and lacked detail about his history

The information was also omitted by NBC News, which instead focused on the fact the suspect was identified and a reward was being offered for his arrest

The information was also omitted by NBC News, which instead focused on the fact the suspect was identified and a reward was being offered for his arrest

There was no mention of CNN’s coverage of the alleged killer’s rap sheet, either, although it did note that Smith was considered ‘armed and dangerous.’

ABC News coverage was also scant; the publication acknowledged a ‘violent crime spike’ but did not include background on Smith’s alleged pattern of offending and being released.

The information was also omitted by NBC News, which instead focused on the fact the suspect was identified and a reward was being offered for his arrest. 

Julie Mastrine, director of media bias ratings at AllSides, said it is common to see left-leaning outlets focus on the victims, while conservative outlets are more prone to hone in on the criminals.

‘This is me speculating, but the left tends to focus a lot on empathy, and views crime in the context of society,’ she told Dailymail.com. ‘The belief there is that people commit crimes due to societal factors. Maybe they’ve experienced poverty or trauma. 

‘And the right focuses more on personal responsibility, and they’re less likely to see crime as the result, or the fault, of larger society. They see it as an active individual will or flawed human nature.’

Some outlets are hesitant to report on a person’s criminal history unless they’ve been convicted of an offense, she added. 

The New York Post was quick to dive deeper into the slaying with a headline reading: ‘LA DA ripped for being soft on crime after deaths of two women.’

Its article detailed the criticism surrounding Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, whose soft-on-crime policies are being blamed for a violent crime wave in the region.

It also shared with its readers that Smith ‘had a lengthy criminal record’ and was believed to be homeless. 

Fox News included in its coverage a story headlined, ‘Progressive prosecutors blasted as homicide numbers climb in Los Angeles, other left-wing cities.’ The piece included an interview with prosecutor Jon Hatami, who called on the public to vote out Gascon and other like-minded DAs.

 He called Gascon out for endorsing policies that resulted in less jail time and lighter sentences for some crimes. 

‘There are some people that are so bad that they deserve to go to prison,’ Hatami told the outlet. ‘And the reason for that is punishment, accountability and protection for the public.’

It in another story detailed Smiths’ criminal background. 

The New York Post detailed criticisms of Gascon, and made mention of Smith's lengthy criminal history

The New York Post detailed criticisms of Gascon, and made mention of Smith’s lengthy criminal history

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Fox News also zeroed in on Smith’s rap sheet, and spoke with a prosecutor who believes progressive district attorneys are jeopardizing public safety

DailyMail.com revealed Tuesday that Smith was arrested in Covina, California, on October 27, 2020, on a charge of possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor. 

A spokesperson for the Covina Police Department said that Smith was cited and released. It was also unclear why the case still hadn’t been brought to a trial or a plea deal 15 months later.

A spokesperson for Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, who took office in December 2020 with a vow to stop prosecuting many misdemeanors, did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com. 

Hatami, a veteran Los Angeles County prosecutor who has been an outspoken critic of Gascon, hit out at his boss in the wake of Kupfer’s killing, arguing that his progressive policies are failing the community, and that he deserves to be voted out, along with other ‘woke’ DAs in cities with rising crime rates. 

‘No parent should ever have to bury their child,’ Hatami tweeted on Tuesday. ‘But, if you do lose a child to violence, we must have a DA who is willing to stand up and fight for the victims and prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law. Every victim deserves a voice and we all deserve justice.’ 

Smith has a prolific criminal record, with dozens of prior charges in North Carolina and South Carolina

Smith has a prolific criminal record, with dozens of prior charges in North Carolina and South Carolina

53098813 10419205 image a 41 1642613712817 | How liberal media IGNORED Brianna Kupfer's killer's enormous rap sheet | The Paradise News

Shawn Laval Smith is shown in a mugshot dated 07/11/2015. He was arrested on charges of EXPIRED REGISTRATION, NO DRIVERS LICENSE and CARELESS DRIVING in NORTH CHARLESTON.

Shawn Laval Smith is shown in a mugshot dated 03/01/2016. He was arrested on charges of TRESPASS AFTER NOTICE in Charleston City. $470.00 bond was posted.

Smith is seen in Charleston mugshots (left to right) in July 2015 on charges of driving without a license, expired registration, and careless driving; March 1, 2016 on charges of trespassing; March 5, 2016 on charges of trespassing and resisting arrest 

Smith is also currently free on a $50,000 bond in Charleston, South Carolina in relation to a November 2019 arrest on suspicion of firing a weapon into an occupied vehicle, court records show. 

An indictment in that case was handed down on March 16, 2020, just before COVID-19 paralyzed the courts, and the docket shows no further action on the case.   

The suspected killer has a prolific criminal record, with dozens of prior charges in North Carolina and South Carolina, public records show.

Smith’s prior charges on the East Coast include assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, assault on a police officer, trespassing, possession of a stolen vehicle, and misdemeanors for larceny and possession of stolen goods. The outcomes of those cases weren’t immediately clear.  

He has a history of failing to appear in court, and has been repeatedly arrested on bench warrants. In one case in Charleston, he was convicted in abstentia after skipping court, and does not appear to have served the sentence, which is sealed in court records. 

Kupfer was working alone at the furniture store

Brianna Kupfer

Shortly before she was killed, Kupfer texted a friend  to say a man at the store was giving her a ‘bad vibe’

53095987 10419205 image a 78 1642614055973 | How liberal media IGNORED Brianna Kupfer's killer's enormous rap sheet | The Paradise News

In 2016, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department issued a public appeal for information about Smith, saying he was wanted on ’14 active warrants for his arrest for Bicycle thefts he has committed in the Charlotte area.’ 

More recently, in California, Smith has charges in San Francisco and San Mateo, where he was accused of assaulting a police officer, a law enforcement source told Fox News.

His most recent arrest appears to be for shoplifting, the source said. Smith has been recently seen in Pasadena, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Covina, San Diego and San Francisco, police said. 

‘He is highly likely to be using public transportation. Special attention should be given to bus stops and train platforms,’ the LAPD said. 

In 2016, Charlotte police issued a public appeal with this DMV photo saying Smith was wanted on '14 active warrants for his arrest for Bicycle thefts' in the area

In 2016, Charlotte police issued a public appeal with this DMV photo saying Smith was wanted on ’14 active warrants for his arrest for Bicycle thefts’ in the area

Earlier, at a Tuesday press conference, LAPD Lt. John Radke revealed that minutes before she was killed, Brianna had texted a friend to say someone in the store was ‘giving her a bad vibe’. 

The shocking attack appears to be random, with no known connection between the victim and her murderer and no clear motive for the slaying. 

Despite his neat and well-kept appearance, cops say they strongly suspect the suspect is homeless, based on his travel on foot as well as information they declined to reveal. 

Police say the wanted man was seen walking all throughout the area and entering several stores, speculating that he chose to attack Brianna after he found her working alone.   

Brianna, 24, was working alone at the luxury Croft House furniture store in LA’s upmarket Fairfax neighborhood on Thursday when the killer entered at about 1.50pm and stabbed her to death before making his escape through the back door. 

Twenty minutes later, another customer walked into the store and found her in a pool of blood. By the time police arrived, she was dead. 

On Tuesday, authorities also announced a $250,000 reward for information leading to the murder suspect’s arrest  –  with $200,000 coming from community donations and the rest from city funds. 

‘We will find this vicious criminal, we will get him arrested, and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,’ Councilman Paul Koretz said as he announced the reward. 

LAPD Chief Michel Moore described the male suspect as African-American, 6 feet to 6 feet 5 inches tall, with a thin build and short dreadlocks.  

He was last seen wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark pants, black tennis shoes and mirrored sunglasses, and carrying a black backpack. 

‘He walked for miles, north, south, east and west, throughout this neighborhood. Someone out there knows this man. Someone out there knows what he did, and boy there’s a lot of money on the table,’ said Lt. Radke.

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