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Whistle-blowing journalist leaks internal memos about reporting on police matters

Editor’s Note: Before you go writing me or the author of this column any angry emails, please note the date of publication — April 1, 2011. Now, enjoy a chortle or a chuckle courtesy of the PoliceOne Editorial Team. Happy April Fool’s Day!

An intensive internal investigation has begun at the Amalgamated Press to determine the identity of an unnamed reporter’s unauthorized release of a series of internal memos about unpublished articles which painted law enforcement officers in a positive light. A source close to the AP investigation said — on the condition of anonymity, of course — that “the upper echelon of the AP is outraged at this incredible breach of journalistic integrity.”

One unpublished article reported that the TASER is a tool that actually reduces injuries to suspects and officers for agencies that utilize it. Another article reported that many officers never fire their weapon during their career — and further, that the ones who do, do so with justification as a last resort.

Yet another shocking revelation in the leaked Amalgamated Press memos was the fact that the suspects whom police must shoot are almost universally very, very, very bad, and very, very dangerous people.

The whistle blower added that there is a tendency for the AP to disregard mug shot photos of the suspects — the whistle blower revealed that as a matter of policy AP editors try to acquire a high school year book photo instead.

“Our editors, our ownership groups, and quite frankly our readers, much prefer a bit of baby fat and a pubescent smile to a dangerous-looking scowl coming from the face of a man with a jailhouse pump. They also have a penchant for editing out the accurate descriptive phrases us lowly scribes use of suspects such as ‘felon’ and career criminal’ and whatnot. They [AP editors] routinely replace these words with ‘youth’ and ‘student’ and motorist’ — those are their favorites.”

One of the most devastating revelations by this truth-telling journalist was that “thousands of arrests are made every day around the country by professional police officers who treat people with dignity and respect.” The whistle blower revealed that the AP routinely ignores police use-of-force tapes that can’t be edited to show officers in a bad light. He added, “This is only done after great lengths are taken in the editing process.”

An Amalgamated Press administrator said, “Positive, fact-based reporting about police officers is unsustainable, and can’t continue unchecked. Our readers do not pay good money for our newspapers just to read about police officers acting honestly and courageously. We have very limited space for stories about heroic public servants — that space is reserved for our beloved firefighters.”

The fallout caused by this tsunami of truth has been immediate and dramatic. After a series of accurate stories on the tireless heroics of dedicated professional police officers, citizens’ groups gathered in Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Oakland, and Poughkeepsie to demonstrate appreciation for their police officers.

One Amalgamated Press source close to the investigation had these final words to say in the matter. “This is a disturbing trend. It is not our duty as journalists to create a warm, fuzzy feeling between a community and its police force. It is our job to inspire our readers to rush wild-eyed and screaming into the streets of their cities to partake in good, old-fashioned riots based entirely on unsubstantiated rumors and snap innuendos.”

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