The Washington Post has suspended reporter Felicia Sonmez, after she sent out a tweet containing a link to a 2016 story about Kobe Bryant’s rape case. The tweet was sent just as news of the tragic helicopter crash broke, and Sonmez reportedly received thousands of death threats.
Sonmez posted the following messages on twitter shortly after she tweeted out a story headlined “Kobe Bryant’s Disturbing Rape Case: The DNA Evidence, the Accuser’s Story, and the Half-Confession.”
“Well, THAT was eye-opening,” Sonmez wrote. “To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and emailed me with abuse and death threats, please take a moment and read the story — which was written (more than three) years ago, and not by me.”
“Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality even if that public figure is beloved and that totality unsettling. That folks are responding with rage and threats toward me (someone who didn’t even write the piece but found it well-reported) speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases.”
Tracy Grant, a managing editor for the Washington Post issued this statement regarding the publications decision to suspend Sonmez: “National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while The Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy. The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues.”