Reporter quits job following 'fatherless' young black men comments
A New York area TV reporter has quit his job following comments he made on-air about ‘fatherless’ young black men.
News 12’s Sean Bergin was reporting a story on the murder of a Jersey City police officer when he decided to go off-script after his news package aired.
The officer, Melvin Santiago, was allegedly killed by Lawrence Campbell, who had previous drug arrests on his record.
During Bergin’s story, he interviewed Campbell’s wife Angelique. She expressed brief condolences for Santiago’s family but insisted “at the end of the day, [her husband] had family, too.”
Campbell died as a result of police officers returning fire during a shootout.
At one point, a clearly frustrated Angelique indicated her husband should have “took more” officers with him. “Mrs. Campbell echoed the ‘anti-cop mentality’ of many we spoke with in that crime-ridden neighborhood today,” Bergin says in the story.
Once the package ended, Bergin was shown on camera back in the studio with a final note:
It’s worth noting that we were besieged, flooded with calls by police officers furious that we would give media coverage to the wife of a cop killer. It’s understandable. We decided to air it because it’s important to shine a light on this anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities. This same sick perverse line of thinking is evident from Jersey City to Newark and Paterson to Trenton. It has made the police officer’s job impossible, and it has got to stop. The underlying cause for all of this of course? Young black men growing up without fathers. Unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject.
Following the comments, Bergin was given the “equivalent of a demotion,” according to TheBlaze. Bergin told the site the station wanted to dock his pay and reduce his work load.
Bergin also admitted his ‘off-script’ moment was against company policy:
I broke the rules, but I broke the rules because I was doing the right thing. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t talk about the problem. The truth is, 73 percent of African-American children grow up without fathers. It’s a topic that needs to be handled delicately — and really, this situation could have been used as a way to explore that.
I’m in these housing projects all the time, and it’s all for the same thing: black men slaughtering each other in the streets. Why is this happening?” he continued, adding that it’s nearly impossible to cover the issue in-depth and accurately when surrounded by “stark raving liberals who masquerade as journalists.
Follow theGrio.com’s Todd Johnson on Twitter @rantoddj.