A Minnesota man has filed a defamation suit against KSTP for wrongly identifying him as a cop killer.
Ryan Larson is suing the Minneapolis ABC affiliate for a story that aired in November saying he had been charged with the murder of Cold Spring police officer Thomas Decker. Larson had been arrested for the murder, but was later released. Larson sued WCCO earlier this month for the same reason.
“The police arrested and jailed a man and charged him, and we reported that,” KSTP attorney Joseph Roby told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
According to the suit filed last week: The station broadcast a color picture of Larson’s mug shot several times during the 5 p.m. newscast that also featured an emotional interview with Decker’s mother. KSTP reporters Joe Mazan and Todd Wilson said Larson was charged in the crime when he was being held and investigated.
The phrases, “Officer Killed,” “Murder Suspect” and “Officer Ambushed,” used in TV graphics connected Larson to the killing, his suit said.
“The innuendo of an ambush murder by plaintiff Larson broadcast by defendant KSTP was false and unsupported by evidence connecting plaintiff Larson and was intended to sensationalize the broadcast and was defamatory,” the suit said.
“He’s still feeling the effects of it,” Stephen Fiebiger, Larson’s attorney said. “I think he’s looking certainly for some compensation, and to try to restore his name as best as possible.”
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