WTMJ Apologizes For Report Alleging Police Misconduct

By Merrill Knox 

Five months after a sensationalized promo for a Sweeps story, Milwaukee NBC affiliate WTMJ has apologized to a police officer featured in the promo.

WTMJ promoted an “explosive I-team investigation months in the making” by showing surveillance video of police officer Matthew Knight at an ATM with a man. The promo copy reads: “A Milwaukee police officer taking a man’s cash out of an ATM. Then walking off with that cash in hand. What’s really going on? The Milwaukee police department has some explaining to do.” (Video of the promo is after the jump.)

The police officer in the surveillance video was cleared of wrongdoing in March, two months before WTMJ aired the story. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel‘s Duane Dudek reports that during Tuesday’s 5 pm newscast, anchor Mike Jacobs read the following statement:


We strive for accuracy in our reporting. But despite our best efforts, when we do get a story wrong, we owe it to you to stand corrected. Earlier this year, our reporting and promotion of a story involving Matthew Knight, a Milwaukee police officer, left the wrong impression that Officer Knight was involved in inappropriate or wrongful behavior. He was not. Prior to the airing of that story, MPD’s internal investigation completely cleared him of any wrongdoing. Our promotion of that story, however, left you with the wrong impression of Officer Knight and his actions that evening. We sincerely apologize to Officer Knight, the hardworking officers of the Milwaukee Police Department, and to you, our viewers. We know that your trust in us has been earned over many years, and will use our experience with this particular story as a reminder of how valuable that trust is.

Watch the promo: