Members of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association says CBS-owned KTVT in Dallas and reporter Arezow Doost disregarded police requests not to release the name and photo of an officer shot in the line of duty. The group says Doost shared the officer’s identity on Twitter–citing “sources”–as other stations honored the request to hold back on using the name and photo, saying the CBS station showed “blatant disregard and (disrespect) to the family.”
“The FWPOA understands that the media market is highly competitive in being the first to report news. However, when a simple request for privacy is blatantly disregarded, the respect and character of a media source is diminished,” the group says in a post on Facebook. “The unprofessionalism by CBS 11 News Director Mike Garber and reporter Arezow Doost will NOT be tolerated in regards to the request for privacy of an officer who is shot in the line of duty.”
The officer, later identified by Fort Worth Police as Sgt. Shane Drake, survived the shooting. The incident led KTVT’s ten o’clock news with extensive coverage Thursday night, when the officer was in surgery. At the time, KTVT reported the police department was asking for prayers. Doost tweeted the officer’s name and photo the next day.
Dallas media writer Ed Bark notes the tweet and photo weren’t released in the chaotic hours immediately following an officer’s shooting, but much later:
Here’s the deal, though. Officer Shane Drake was shot shortly before 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29th. Doost didn’t post his name and picture until late the following morning, just before CBS11’s 11 a.m. newscast. The station reportedly had been tipped that rival stations were ready to publicize his name on their noon newscasts.
The officer’s next of kin obviously knew of his medical status by then. In fact, Drake already had been operated on, with Doost tweeting, “Sgt. Shane Drake was shot at least once in his abdomen. He had to undergo surgery and expected to be ok.”
People can get out their pitchforks if they like. But from this perspective, roughly 16 hours seems to be ample time to notify the officer’s immediate family members. This was, after all, a police officer shooting. And Officer Drake wasn’t on his death bed. On the contrary he was on the mend.