Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Only One Side of the Story

It's not often I criticize KPRC news coverage, but sometimes it happens. In this story, channel 2 boasts that you'll only see it on their station. Some guy was video taping a driver who couldn't stay in his lane. Now, obviously there is a problem with this driver, he is a danger. Eventually an HPD officer pulls him over, then lets him go. The caller is outraged;

"We're paying the police officer's salary and they're letting drunks go!"

First off, I'd like to toss a quarter in this guy's face and say "here's a refund now shut up!"
Second, he does not know what exchange went on between the officer and driver. Many times, have officers pulled over someone driving like this assuming they were drunk. Upon actually contacting the driver (which the guy filming did not), sometimes it is learned the driver has other problems (too old, cell phone, medical condition, etc). However, the guy who called it in is absolutely convinced the driver was drunk and that's all there is to it.

Then, channel 2 goes to its embedded lawyer, Brian Wice who says;

"He (the officer) was there and we weren't," Wice said. "The fact that that officer ultimately concluded based upon their experience, training and expertise that no further investigation was needed, while somewhat dismaying to the Good Samaritan and maybe to some of us, ultimately that's a decision that we don't have the right to second guess."

Thank you Mr. Wice.

However, that doesn't seem to satisfy channel 2. At the end of the video the reporter says the driver was "20 feet from his home." That certainly does not excuse drunk driving. Many people have been arrested for DWI on their home streets. What channel 2 didn't do, was find the officer who actually made the stop and ask if the guy was drunk or not. The spokesman isn't going to know. A simple question to the actual officer who made the stop can either put this to rest, or open a can or worms.

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