Bodycam video was released of the Newburgh Heights Police Chief in Ohio confronting a News 5 Cleveland (WEWS-TV) news crew that showed up at a rape victim’s house, uninvited.
Chief John Majoy was responding to a distress call from a recent rape victim in his jurisdiction.
She told the chief that the crew showed up at her home asking for an interview.
“I find that in extreme poor taste,” the Chief says to the crew in the footage. “To show up at the victim’s house? How would you feel? Would you want the news showing up at your house?”
The video of the encounter was posted to the Newburgh Heights Police Department’s official Facebook page.
After being confronted by the Chief of Police for their callous, insensitive conduct, News Channel 5 apologized to the victim through the Chief of Police. Two news managers at the station have since been fired.
The video was released with the consent of the victim in the hope that her privacy and that of all victims is honored and respected.
Here is the video, where the Police Chief confronts the news crew:
The video starts when Majoy arrived at the victim’s home and spoke with her in front of the house.
“You stay right here,” he told the victim.
“Okay. I don’t want them in my place,” the rape victim told the chief.
“No, stay right there,” Majoy said, as he headed down the driveway beside the house to where the camera crew was standing by their SUV, near a garage in the back yard.
The chief confronted the man and woman, who were talking to someone the victim knew in the driveway behind the house, according to Blue Lives Matter.
“You’re on body camera right now. I’m going to make this body camera available to a lot of people. I suggest you leave right now,” the chief said.
— LawEnforcementToday (@LawEnforceToday) July 3, 2018
The feedback from News Channel 5 via social media was immediate.
The station posted an apology beneath the video, but that wasn’t enough – people were irate.
Since the video aired, two news managers at News Channel 5 have lost their jobs over the incident.
News Channel 5 called the police department to complain that they had begun receiving threats.
The department posted a message from the chief about the threats in the comments beneath the video.
“Message from Chief Majoy: The News Director from Channel 5 notified me to report they have received threats of violence and are gravely concerned for their safety. We condemn this conduct and I am saddened by it. The spirit behind the release of this video – as noted in the post – is to remind folks to respect the privacy of this and all victims of crime. It was released with the consent of the victim with this in mind,” the department posted.
“News 5 did indeed hold themselves accountable as they have shared. Aside of one’s thoughts or opinion on this matter, there is no room for threats of violence and this needs to stop immediately. Please share my comments to promote safety and decry the threat of violence. Together we can make a difference,” the message said.