Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO is being accused of unethical journalism by the Pinal County Sheriff’s department over the way it’s showing video of a deadly police shooting.
In cellphone video shot at the end of a police chase on January 14, a suspect is seen standing at the side of his vehicle surrounded by Pinal County deputies and officers from the Eloy Police Department. Police first shoot the suspect with non-lethal rounds. He then reaches into his car, turns his back to the officers and raises his hands before being shot to death.
In emails obtained by TVSpy between Pinal County Sheriff’s pubic information officer Tim Gaffney and KPHO reporter Morgan Loew about the CBS affiliate’s coverage that began airing January 22, Gaffney tells Loew, “the fact you freeze the video at the exact split second the suspect raises his hands and then delay the sound of the shots being fired, is both unethical and completely misleading.”
Loew tells Gaffney, “It does seem that you are going out of your way to clear your deputy in the shooting before the homicide investigation is complete. ”
>UPDATE: KPHO told TVSpy, “We stand 100 percent behind our reporting of this story. It was accurate and balanced. To our knowledge, we did not alter the video in any way shape or form. We did make an editorial decision not to show footage of the subject dying on screen as to not offend our viewers. But we felt it was important to continue with the audio portion so they could hear that gunshots were fired at the subject while his hands were in the air and back was to the deputy who fired the fatal shots.”