When KQED reported that two men detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were allegedly put in solitary confinement for protesting $1-a-day wages at the prison where they are held, the California public media outlet portrayed the men sympathetically, glossing over an important detail: according to unofficial court records, both Pedro Figueroa and Mohamed Mousa had been convicted of violent crimes.
According to the article, “Figueroa and Mousa were arrested by the agency [ICE] after being released from state prisons for felony convictions, according to court records and their attorneys.” The article, otherwise thorough in its reporting, does not state the crimes the men were convicted of.
The article describes Figueroa as “the father of four children born in the U.S.” and “a former incarcerated firefighter who battled the massive August Complex fire in 2020.”
Unofficial court records reveal, however, that Figueroa was charged with multiple felonies, including murder, and pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and participation in criminal gang activity.
Regarding his convictions, the article says he “felt no choice but to take a plea deal and continues to maintain his innocence, according to his lawyer.”
The KQED article describes Mousa as “a 41-year-old immigrant from Egypt and former film student in Los Angeles.” According to the article, “Mousa entered the U.S. lawfully in 2006, and has since been granted protections against deportation by two separate immigration judges, but ICE has appealed.”
According to unofficial court records, Mousa has been found guilty of inflicting “corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition,” multiple instances of battery, and possessing a firearm illegally.
The article’s omission of these details is not just left-wing commercial media bias. KQED is a public media outlet with NPR-affiliated radio and PBS-affiliated television. KQED receives funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which “is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services.”
The Federalist reached out to the author of the KQED article, but received an out-of-office message.