Why the Media Botched the Brandon Miller Story
How a killing in Alabama inspired a rush to judgment from both political sides
Back in late February, there was situation in college basketball that was difficult to describe. At the very least it was impossible to summarize. It involved Brandon Miller, an Alabama freshman forward with NBA superstar potential. It also involved the killing of a young mother named Jamea Harris, whom Miller had never met, but whose death was being laid at his feet by people with high-follower accounts. The initial popular understanding of the story was that Miller provided a gun to a teammate, Darius Miles, who then, with his friend Michael Davis, immediately killed this woman. Based on that rough sketch, a popular call for Miller’s punishment arose among media members and fans.
That rough sketch isn’t incorrect, necessarily, but as you’ll see, it’s also insufficiently descriptive. As details emerge of what happened on the night of January 15th, 2023 in Tuscaloosa, we can see that media members on both sides of the political divide rushed in too early with their own ideological baggage and ideas for punishment. Some of what was “known” initially hasn’t held up under new evidence. Other aspects haven’t been disproven, but look different with new context. Altogether, the story just isn’t what it seemed, back when it was leading the headlines.