Detroit mayor bans reality TV crews after girl’s death

Detroit’s mayor has banned reality TV crews from following its police after a crew filmed a raid that killed a child. Mayor Dave Bing’s spokesperson Karen Dumas told the Detroit News that having them there “gives the wrong appearance … We don’t want to convolute the process.” However, she said local media will be able to ride along with cops, but “We’ll assess that on a case-by-case basis.”

Bing criticized police chief Warren Evans who renewed a contract with the A&E series The First 48, and said, “(Evans) said he signed an … extension of what was already there. He said he didn’t pay much attention to it — but the fact of the matter is, his handwriting is on the agreement.”

The paper also reports that “Bing also said he was concerned when he saw a six-minute promotional trailer for a proposed reality TV show, tentatively named ‘The Chief'” that “reportedly shows Evans posing in front of the Michigan Central Depot station, holding a semi-automatic rifle and vowing to rid the city of crime.”

Bing said, “We saw it and we said: ‘Hell no — don’t make that public. You’ve got to cancel that; that’s not going to happen.’ But the teaser thing was already out, so it’s public knowledge. And it’s not positive in my opinion.”

Bing bans TV crews from cop raids [Detroit News]
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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.