A San Francisco television station has retracted its story alleging a Vallejo police officer used a racial slur during a traffic stop on July 8.
In a short 30-second clip published three days after the original broadcast, KPIX 5, a San Francisco-based CBS affiliate, admitted the officer did not use a slur.
“After further review of mobile phone video of the incident, it turns out the police officer did not use any racial slur,” the station reported.
An internal affairs investigation was launched after a Vallejo resident alleged the male officer used the “N-word” during the stop in the 600 block of Louisiana Street.
The resident used a cell phone camera to record nearly five minutes of the traffic stop and the alleged racial slur.
KPIX broadcasted small snippets of the video, censoring the section in which the officer allegedly used the slur.
In an unedited copy obtained by the Times-Herald, it was not evident the officer used the slur. Instead, it appeared the officer said “Hey, David,” in reference to the passenger’s first name, instead of the “N-Word” which was reported by the news station and resident.
Vallejo City Manager Daniel Keen addressed the incident during a city council meeting Tuesday night.
“I just want to reiterate that the allegation that there was a racial slur used is incorrect,” he said to the council.
Keen invited the council and public to view the unedited video of the incident.
“We are disappointed that the media chose to run a story that, frankly, they did not research fully,” Keen added. “We are grateful they have issued a retraction.”
Reached by email Friday, Dan Rosenheim, vice president and news director of KPIX-TV and KBCW-TV, declined to answer questions about whether the station would apologize to the Vallejo Police Department, discipline the reporter who filed the story, and/or double-check its work before broadcasting a news story.
He instead directed the Times-Herald to view the station’s 30-second clip retracting the story.
An investigation remains open as the department investigates the officer’s use of profanity during the traffic stop.
Contact John Glidden at (707) 553-6832.
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