ABC Reporter Informs on Hungry People, Diverts Rescue Resources in Disaster Zone

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ABC Reporter Informs on Hungry People, Diverts Rescue Resources in Disaster Zone

Tom Llamas is an ABC News correspondent, and he’s in Texas to cover the disastrous after-effects of Hurricane Harvey. Here are two tweets he made this afternoon, since deleted:

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Now, there’s a certain kind of reader who will see this, and think: Looting is illegal, these people need to be punished! It doesn’t get more complicated than that, for a certain type of black-and-white thinker. If you’re one of those readers, well, you should probably stop reading now.

Because for anyone with a conscience, or a drip of human empathy, this is heinous. A neutral observer from the media saw some hungry people trying to find food at a grocery store—an illegal act, by the letter of the law, but one geared toward helping them survive—and decided to inform on them to police. To react that way when witnessing human suffering is bad enough, but Llamas went further—he actively drew police and coast guard to the scene, which means that there are now fewer resources available for rescue missions and other critical activity in a time of great danger. I don’t need to spell out the consequences of that, do I?

Here are a few reactions from Twitter that sum it up well:

UPDATE: Llamas has attempted to clarify his earlier tweet. We'll let you be the judge: