Milwaukee, WI - We recently covered an incident where, at a Milwaukee homicide scene on February 24, a CBS 58 crew member made a comment to a random black male who was walking by, “Be careful because cops are trigger happy.” The comment was made during a livestream on Facebook Live. CBS and the involved crew member have now responded.
After the livestream went up, CBS 58 cut the audio from the first 6 minutes 41 seconds of the video to delete the comment, but that didn't address the issue.
CBS responded shortly after we covered this story:
CBS 58 apologizes for the situation that occurred on a Facebook Live session on Friday February 24th when an off-camera station employee, not the reporter on site, made inappropriate and offensive comments regarding law enforcement. CBS58 apologizes for these comments which in no way reflect our views. CBS 58 has taken appropriate action against the employee involved, and has had direct discussions with the Milwaukee Police Department regarding the incident.
Now, the involved crew member has contacted us and advised us that he was fired. He did not need to reach out to us or identify himself, but because he did and this crew member was already fired over the comment, we have decided with withhold his name. Here is his response:
I am the (now-former) CBS 58 Photojournalist who made the comment about trigger-happy cops while live-streaming from the scene of a shooting on Friday, February 24th at 57th and Center.
I have since been fired for making the comment. It was a stupid joke I made to a guy who told me he was getting out of the area because, he said, there were too many cops with guns running around.
The truth is, I don't believe for one second that the Milwaukee Cops are trigger-happy. In fact, think the officers show incredible restraint every day, especially as they did during the riot last August near Sherman Park.
I was there that night covering the unrest. A co-worker and I were beat up, had our camera gear stolen, our cellphones taken, and our lives threatened by a group of young men. [We] were sending video of the burning BP gas station back to the Station as it happened.
I apologize to all Milwaukee police officers, Blue Lives Matter, and anyone else who heard my comment and were offended. When I made the comment, I was scared, and I thought making a joke might help ease the tension. I'll probably be leaving town soon. But I wish the people of Milwaukee the best as they deal with the serious problem of racism, that I witnessed (both ways) in my year living here.
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