Looks like Rio police lied about the Ryan Lochte drama at the Olympics

Looks like Rio police lied about the Ryan Lochte drama at the Olympics

“Lochtegate” has garnered more attention than the Clinton email scandal (you know, the one that compromises our national security?), but for what reason? Because there are sides, of course. Either you believe that he really was robbed, so you think he’s a liar. Either way, it allows people to feel self-righteous and that’s why it’s so important.

But while the media is reporting the robbery as a lie, there seems to be evidence to the contrary.

Jan 16, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Ryan Lochte before competing in the men's 400 meter IM final during the 2016 Arena Pro Swim Series at Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 16, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Ryan Lochte before competing in the men’s 400 meter IM final during the 2016 Arena Pro Swim Series at Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

From HotAir:

You heard it all weekend:  “Four American swimmers trashed a Rio bathroom in a drunken rage and then lied to investigators about an armed robbery to cover-up their story.”

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It’s become conventional wisdom from network anchors trying to paint a rosy picture on a troubled Olympics to journalists who embrace the narrative of “ugly Americans” taking advantage of the downtrodden, third world Brazilians.

There’s only one problem with this narrative: It appears it’s completely false.

USA Today has done a thorough and extensive investigation of the security videos from the gas station in question and they’ve done something Matt Lauer and Bob Costas sure haven’t done.  They interviewed the actual witnesses who were there the night of the incident. Their report today paints a very different picture of the media narrative Americans have been fed since Friday morning:

But a narrative of the night’s events – constructed by USA TODAY Sports from witness statements, official investigations, surveillance videos and media reports – supports Lochte’s later account in which he said he thought the swimmers were being robbed when they were approached at a gas station by armed men who flashed badges, pointed guns at them and demanded money.

Where I come from (Detroit) when someone points a weapon at you and will not let you leave until you give them money, it’s called “armed robbery.”  Yes, even in Detroit.  Now maybe the standard for “armed robbery” is different in Brazil. You know, like the standard for “handling classified materials in a negligent way” has a shifting standard depending on whether you’re running for president and whether the Attorney General is a member of your political party.

But, armed robbery should be one of those crimes that transcends language and culture.

USA Today’s analysis picks up on some important factors that need to be pointed out:

An extensive review of surveillance footage by a USA TODAY Sports videographer who also visited the gas station supports swimmer Gunnar Bentz’s claim that he did not see anyone vandalize the restroom, an allegation that in particular heightened media portrayals of the four as obnoxious Americans behaving recklessly in a foreign country. Meanwhile, Rio authorities have declined to identify the guards or offer any details beyond confirming they are members of law enforcement who were working a private security detail.

Marinate in that for a moment, will you?

A videographer who visited the actual bathroom in question and analyzed all of the video footage says there is no evidence (on video or in person) that supports the claim that the bathroom was vandalized by the swimmers. One of the swimmers (Bentz) has gone on record saying he didn’t see any of the swimmers vandalize the bathroom. The security guards who are also law enforcement have not been brought forward to be interviewed  by reporters. In fact, we’ve never even seen their faces.

Here is a couple of pictures of the bathroom in question:

BR-Rio-2

BR-Rio

Let’s be honest here: it’s a third-world bathroom. Any “vandalism” committed by the boys would be considered an improvement, but there’s no evidence to indicate that any of them actually did anything wrong.

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