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Gay and Lesbian Center Criticizes KCBS For Posting Names, Birthdates of Men Arrested in Sex Sting

FishbowlLA reports that the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center is outraged over KCBS-KCAL’s decision to post the names, birthdates, and mugshots of eighteen men who were arrested in an undercover sting operation at a Manhattan Beach restroom.

This week KCBS and KCAL reported on the arrests, which were based on a range of offenses, including engaging in lewd conduct in a public place and  indecent exposure, and aired the Manhattan Beach Police Department’s collection of mugshots and personal information of the men arrested.  The images, names, and birthdates were then posted on the stations’ website.

“It’s shocking that any news operation, but especially an affiliate of a major network like CBS, would choose to publish the mug shots, names and birthdates of people charged with victimless crimes, simply because the charges are salacious or related to gay sex,” LA Gay and Lesbian Center chief of staff Darrel Cummings said in a statement.

“Publishing their photos serves no purpose other than to humiliate and destroy their lives,” Cummings added.  “We call on KCBS/KCAL to immediately remove the images and names from their website.”

KABC also aired the names, birthdates, and mugshots of the men but refrained from posting their personal information on its website.  Reporting on the arrests, KNBC aired only the mugshots and apparently decided not to publish them on its website.

KCBS-KCAL has reportedly not responded to the LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s criticism and the names, birthdates, and mugshots remain on the stations’ website.

>Update: KCBS-KCAL released the following statement…

Like other stations in the market, we reported on a significant local news story regarding the arrest of a large number of individuals. Our coverage, like that of several other media outlets, included showing the official photos of those arrested, photographs that were provided by the Manhattan Beach Police Department. This reporting is consistent with our long-held journalistic standards by which we provide the public with information and photos from law enforcement agencies about arrested individuals on a regular basis without regard to their gender, race or sexual orientation.

[FishbowlLA]

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