Headline RoundupNovember 27th, 2023

Vermont Man Pleads Not Guilty in Shooting of 3 Students of Palestinian Descent

Summary from the AllSides News Team

A Vermont man pleaded not guilty on Monday to three counts of second-degree attempted murder in the shooting of three college students of Palestinian descent. 

The Details: The suspect, 48-year-old Jason J. Eaton, was arrested on Sunday after allegedly shooting the students outside his apartment building near the University of Vermont on Saturday afternoon. The students, two of which were reportedly wearing black-and-white Palestinian keffiyeh scarves, were walking by when the suspect allegedly fired at them with a handgun “without speaking.” Local police said two of the students were in stable condition, but the third had suffered “much more serious injuries.”

For Context: Amid the rise of antisemitism and Islamophobia related to the conflict between Israel and Hamas, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department was investigating whether the shooting was a hate crime.

Key Quote: Regarding the suspect’s motive, Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad said, “I would urge the public and you in the media to avoid making conclusions based on statements from people who know even less than we currently do.”

How the Media Covered It: Left-rated outlets appeared more likely to promote the story prominently on homepages. Some online coverage differed in identifying the students as being “men of Palestinian descent” or just “Palestinian”; police said two of the students are U.S. citizens and one is a legal resident.

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