A friend e-mailed me this TV news story and I thought it deserved some attention on my blog. This came from Miami-Fort Lauderdale’s CBS4. It’s a typical “sweeps story” designed to boost their February ratings. I’ve seen this same story done in other TV markets and it always seems to yield the same results.
The deal is they send in some junior producer with the sneaky-cam into a police station and have him ask for a form to make a beef against a cop. Most departments simply ask what happened and forward the preliminary information to internal affairs. For these stories the producers act squirrelly and I’m sure the officers notice suspicious bulges in the producer’s clothing from the hidden camera equipment.
The truth is people with real complaints against officers are seldom afraid to complain and answer any and all questions put to them. This behavior by the producer would not seem right to any experienced officer for someone with a complaint.
The asking for a form is truly bogus since each and every department will initiate an internal investigation on the simplest of written letters. It’s the practice of nearly every police department in America for the officers to collect the information and write all reports instead of the citizens.
This story was a cheap way to hype their investigative prowess and get more viewers. I find that the story is inflammatory and misleading.