Police have turned against the media in the wake of four cops getting ambushed and executed in a Washington coffee shop over the weekend.
Lakewood police are blaming the KING-TV helicopter for interfering with their investigation. The Pierce County prosecutor is now considering filing charges against KING-TV’s news director and its helicopter pilot.
That case will get laughed out of court.
Meanwhile the murder suspect is still at large, so you would think these cops and prosecutors would focus on the criminals and stop making empty threats against reporters.
So far, police are looking for a “person of interest” named Maurice Clemmons, an ex-con with a violent history.
While it’s understandable that police might get annoyed at the hovering copter as they are searching for Clemmons, they should acknowledge that these copters might be the first to see Clemmons if he does take off running out of a backdoor. Hell, I am just surprised that they even have news choppers when most of the TV stations down here eliminated them from the budget.
And the truth is, these reporters want this guy off the streets as much as the cops do. But they also have a job to do.
Here is an exchange between police and reporters about this situation.
“They’ve hampered the investigation three times today; they’ve slowed us down,” Troyer told reporters gathered near the shooting scene.
“If that helicopter shows up again, you’re all out of here,” he said, urging other media to call KING.
“We need you, and we need the public’s help, but we also can’t risk having other people get hurt and having our operations jeopardized by a helicopter — which we’ve had three or four conversations with the news station and they don’t seem to care or understand or acknowledge the issue,” Troyer said.
KING-TV News Director Mark Ginther said he did not know why Troyer would say the station’s helicopter interfered with the investigation.”Each time I heard directly from him, we moved our helicopter,” Ginther said, adding, “we complied with the FAA regulations over the airspace.”
It really sounds as if these cops should lay off the reporters and start looking for Clemmons because if it turns out Clemmons didn’t do it, then it will be back to square one.
Considering they at first responded to a false alarm at a convenience store rather than the diner, they appear to like barking up wrong trees.