As expected, NBC6 is going to run with the Non-Story I reported two days ago, where a female National Guard reservist was oh-so traumatized by a Non-Incident that occurred on December 5, 2014.
North Miami Beach Police Chief Scott Dennis distributed an email explaining that the day after a sniper training at a gun range, the woman just happened to look into a trash can and saw a series of mug shots that had been used during the training session. In a bizarre coincidence, out of the many pictures discarded, one of them just happened to be that of her brother. She was so upset she called Willard Shepard.
Because only THE MEDIA can alleviate the emotional trauma of such a devastating event!
Even more laughable – not to mention, irresponsible – Shepard’s news station, NBC6, is running the story with an outrageously misleading 15 second teaser, Tonight at 6: Gun Training with Real Photos?
But, hey! If it bleeds, it leads, right?
“A local police department is using real photos of real people for gun training!”
“What’s the motive behind that?”
The Chief says their policies were not violated.
NBC6 investigator Willard Shepard gets answers!
Watch today at 6, only on NBC6.
Sure, teasers are designed to whet the appetites of channel surfing couch potatoes in the hopes of increasing ratings.
(Is it sweeps month, yet? Pass me a beer.)
Teasers are almost always much more provocative than the actual stories. But, hey, whatever works, right?
Here’s the thing, though. The North Miami Beach Police Department does not use “real photos of real people” during regular police officer target practice. What Willard Shepard’s teaser deliberately left out was that THIS WAS SNIPER TRAINING!
Police snipers are used for a variety of reasons, but one of the most critical times would be during a hostage situation.
Considering what just happened in Paris last week, I wonder if the four murdered Jewish hostages could have been saved had the French police been allowed to carry firearms.
I know. I’m shaking my head, too. As a rule, the French don’t arm their cops! WTF?
But, that’s not my point. Police snipers need to be able to pick out a very specific face in a crowd. In the case of a hostage situation, where negotiations have broken down and the hostages are in mortal danger, a single, precisely aimed shot from a sniper’s firearm could mean the difference between life and death for the victims.
Using “real photos of real people” in order to train snipers is an ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL BEST PRACTICE!
And, yet, somehow, Willard Shepard is out to vilify the sniper team of the North Miami Beach Police Department for doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing.
In the wake of “Ferguson,” and the ensuing media-fueled violence it inspired, it has become quite fashionable to bash the police. All of a sudden, cops are the enemy for simply doing their jobs. Going after a police department’s sniper training protocol is just one more way to squeeze another fifteen minutes of “fame” for the “victims” of “police brutality.”
So, let’s talk about why the mug shot of the Guard reservist’s brother was used during sniper training in the first place.
One of my police department sources explained that the mug shot was just a random photo used as part of a six person lineup array, where all six “real photos” are “real people” who are very similar in appearance. This particular set of mug shots were used at random, although that array and others had been in use for years. “The photos contained no names or other identifiers. The guys on the sniper team (most in the SRT team as well) weren’t even working here when the photo was even taken!”
Had Willard Shepard done his job, he would have researched the entire story and come up with this information. However, the truth isn’t as sexy as being able to scream that “A local police department is using “real photos of real people for gun training!”
With regard to this particular mug shot, the subject’s picture was in the department’s database because he was involved in a drag racing incident on Biscayne Boulevard in December of 2000. During that incident, the subject was racing another car, driven by his own cousin, who lost control and hit a light pole. The driver of that car and his passenger were ejected. The driver died on impact, and the passenger was run over by the subject’s car, and dragged to his death in what was described to me as the most horrific vehicular homicide my source had ever seen in his entire career in law enforcement.
The subject – who caused the death of two human beings by causing a car to run into a pole and and dragging one of the victims to his death – was arrested and convicted.
That driver was the Guard reservist’s brother.
It was his mug shot, tossed into a trash can after sniper training, that caused her so much trauma, pain and suffering.
Let me tell you what trauma, pain and suffering is.
Being struck by a car and getting caught under its body and dragged about a hundred fifty feet to your death is traumatic.
Sources in the police department told me he wasn’t killed by the impact, or even by being burned alive while dragged along the asphalt. He eventually died by suffocation, crushed by the weight of the car on top of him.
I don’t know about you, but I’d call that trauma, pain and suffering.
Several officers who were on the scene of that accident have told me it was the most grisly traffic death they ever witnessed.
I’m pretty sure that had the victim survived, he could have told you all about trauma, pain and suffering. Unfortunately, he died.
Yet, somehow, NBC6 reporter Willard Shepard actually believes that “using real photos of real people” is so heinous, it bears exposing.
Even more incredulous, the Guard reservist didn’t cry to the media when her brother was responsible for the bloody, gruesome deaths of two human beings.
Yet, she didn’t hesitate to pick up a phone and call Willard Shepard after seeing her ex-con brother’s face on a mug shot in a trash can.
She wants you (and a future jury, of course) to believe that this Non-Incident caused her all kinds of grief.
How can your head not explode from all this nonsense? I know mine is!
In the media’s estimation, using mug shots for sniper training to make sure the sharpshooters are on top of their game, is just an unspeakable act of brutality.
And yet, if a sniper who wasn’t trained properly were to shoot the wrong person, the media would have a field day!
No matter what they do, in this current anti-police climate, cops can’t win.
Even more importantly, if the North Miami Beach Police Department had a professional Public Information Officer, one who has a good working relationship with the media, Willard Shepard would have had to go chase another ambulance for a story.
But the fact that Major Kathy Katerman is so ineffective as a PIO has nothing to do with an irresponsible, ratings hungry media, prone to sensationalize Non-Stories on a slow news day.
By not responding to these frivolous accusations properly, Major Katerman gave Willard Shepard a license to attack the NMBPD with lies and misinformation.
Way to go, Major!
In the final analysis, however, this entire Non-Story is as bogus as it gets. False cries of “racism” and “police brutality” should fall on deaf ears. Unfortunately, the media does nothing but perpetuate the insanity for their own agenda.
Willard Shepard is nothing but a shameless hack.
His “news” station, NBC6, is even more culpable for journalistic negligence for going along with this bullshit.
No wonder #JournalismIsDead.
UPDATE: Willard Shepard’s disingenuous Tweet-slash-ratings stunt:
— Willard Shepard (@WillardNBC6) January 15, 2015
“Spreading the Wealth”