In the wake of the fatal shooting of four police officers at a coffee shop in Washington, a spokesperson for the local sheriff’s office said that the Pierce county prosecutor may press charges against members of KING-TV‘s news team. According to Ed Troyer, a police spokesperson, the KING news helicopter repeatedly interfered with police as they searched for the suspected killer over the weekend.
In a news conference on Sunday afternoon, Troyer said that charges may be filed against KING’s news director and the pilot of the news helicopter. “They’ve hampered the investigation three times today,” Troyer told a group of reporters. “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 added.
KING News Director Mark Ginther denies that his station interfered with the police. “We complied with the FAA regulations over the airspace,” he told KIRO, Seattle’s ABC-affiliate.
Since the news conference on Sunday, the prosecutor’s office has made no formal progress in bringing charges of police interference against Ginther and the helicopter pilot. It’s possible that Troyer is using the threat of legal action against KIRO to manage the media swarm that has been surrounding the manhunt. “If that helicopter shows up again, you’re all out of here,” he told reporters on Sunday, “so call them and tell them that.”