Whatever you do, local news, don't write "Cops kill innocent teen in flashbang fire"

"Albuquerque police reveal cause of death for teen killed during SWAT standoff", writes KOB Eyewitness News, obscuring as far as conceivably possible any implication that Albuquerque police were the cause of death. The "exonerative tense", reportage written in a universe where no human ever takes action, is again at hand. Brett Rosenau, 15, died in a fire.

The unbylined report leaves its own central fact—that police started a fire with a flashbang grenade and it may have killed an innocent child—to innuendo and denial. We are told, at the end of the story, that "there is a new investigation into what caused the fire" and given a pre-emptive quote from APD Chief Harold Medina: "We've heard the stories that it's possible these could start fires but we've never experienced that here."

Folks, whatever you do, don't report that cops started a fire and the fire killed the kid. Don't even lead with the accusation, which may be attributed to the child's grieving family. You'd be going out on such a limb.