Mayor Cory Booker is in Newark, addressing a controversy from his past. In 2004 Booker was on the scene when 19-year-old Wazn Miller was shot and killed. Booker has told this story in many speeches over the years and describes the man bleeding and potentially dying in his arms.
Conservative website, National Review, has filed a request and got some police reports from the incident. They’ve implied that Booker may have exaggerated the story. There were witnesses that say they found Booker with blood on him, and the paramedics said that he was involved in administrating some sort of aid. The disputable fact is whether or not Miller actually died in Booker’s arms.
Matt Rooney, editor of the Save Jersey blog, does not have complete faith in Booker’s words, saying “he has a reputation for being a much better storyteller than being a mayor.”
A liberal blog that supports Mayor Booker, ThinkProgress, got an excerpt of the police report and in the section that references who was holding Miller, female pronouns were used. Rooney says, “So whether or not Cory Booker was there, that seems indisputable, but whether or not he was actually holding this poor young man, that seems like it’s very much up for debate. “
In the past Booker has been caught telling stories that weren’t true. A story about his friend T-Bone, a young man who became a gangster and then turned his life around thanks to Booker, was revealed to be a tall-tale. This incident causes people to doubt Booker’s story about holding Miller as he died.
Rooney thinks Booker isn’t being truthful about all the details, and said “One of my favorite blogs that I read every day, MoreMonmouthMusings.net had some various videos up of Cory Booker today. Two different times of when he told the story and in both videos he told a different tale.”
In Booker’s defense, the full police report says that, in fact, there was a woman on scene, but eye witnesses say that Mayor Booker was holding the young man, helped carry him into the grass, and did administer some sort of treatment to him. He may have embellished the story, but it’s indisputable that he was involved in the treatment of Miller.
First person accounts of traumatic situations are often faulty or change over time. After almost ten years, some people can’t fault Booker for mixing up some aspects of the story, if those aspects are indeed false. Rooney does agree that first person accounts are not as reliable as police reports most of the time, but he says this isn’t an isolated incident. Rooney accuses Cory Booker of being a serial storyteller, and says that serial storytellers “don’t stop lying when the stakes get bigger”.
Some people don’t agree with calling Booker a serial storyteller. Booker has a record of doing credible work, and some feel he should not be judged solely on the T-Bone incident.