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Did This Arizona Reporter Help a Vandal Deface a Confederate Memorial?

The local journalist reported that he had just arrived to see the vandal leave. The video tells a different story.

Phoenix Channel 12 reporter Bryan West reported last week that he had arrived just as a vandal who had defaced a Confederate memorial finished his illegal deed, but a video obtained by the Phoenix New Times told a different story.

The video, above, shows that Channel 12’s news van was watching the whole act:

Yet as one of the videos shows, the news van’s headlights were pointed at the memorial before, during, and after the incident, illuminating it as the suspect spray-painted the monument.

Channel 12’s team arrived in the parking lot of Wesley Bolin Plaza just after 4:40 a.m., the video shows, seconds after the vandalism suspect rode up on a bicycle.

The suspect appears to have ridden or walked near the van before and after the incident, which is still being investigated by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

According to the New Times report, West reported a completely different story:

In contrast, West reported on the morning news, and also in a live video on his Facebook site, that when he and a cameraman arrived, he saw a man on a bicycle leaving the scene.

West indicates in the August 17 broadcast that his arrival at the memorial at roughly the same time it was vandalized was a coincidence.

Instead, the video makes apparent that West’s Channel 12 news crew essentially helped the vandal by lighting up the memorial.