Friday, June 19, 2009

Too Much Reality Is Never a Good Thing

The Jackson Free Press and WLBT report that Mayor-elect Harvey Johnson, Jr., opposes the participation of the Jackson Police Department on the "reality" show "First 48."

The JFP story quotes the incoming Mayor: "There are a number of things we can spotlight rather than homicides."

I agree with Mayor Johnson, but not so much for the reasons he states. In my opinion, a show dedicated to showing the "first 48" hours of a homicide investigation is virtually begging the police to find a suspect -- any suspect -- in that artificial time frame. The inevitable result? Pressured false confessions, false arrests, lives and reputations ruined, the Constitution shredded.

Now, if we want transparency, let's DO put cameras on our police cruisers and in our detective's hands, and make the record -- start to finish -- the interrogation of any subject. THAT would promote transparency and aid judges and juries in deciding whether a suspect's statement is . . . suspect.


Anonymous said...

Having watched the program numerous times I always wonder why more suspects don't immediately ask for an attorney. Or, we aren't being shown those investigations since suspect interviews are such an integral component of the program.

Anonymous said...

On "The First 48", the detectives come across as pretty smart. Having read a few JPD police reports in my day, I'm afraid a spotlight on their counterparts in Jackson would not be so flattering.

Windy Days said...

OMG! Don't do it! JPD on national television is NOT a good idea. Is there a petition that past residents of Hinds County can sign?

Anonymous said...

No present resident of Hinds County REALLY gives a two sh*#s about what past residents think about Hinds County. Okay, maybe we give one sh*#. Maybe.

The reason it is not a good idea to do this show has nothing to do with any departments' skill or incompotence. If "The First 48" is so important, does every moment need to be opened up to Nationwide scrutiny?

Just look at how GRrrreat that turned out for the City of Memphis. The whole footage from A&E's time with the MPD is being battled over in court.

Eric said...

When this was first pitched, it was said that Jackson has one of the highest rates of solving homicides vs. other cities (approx. 70% vs. 50%). And the numbers weren't even close. I just figured this was based upon the number of dumb defendnats around here. Notwithstanding, why hasn't that angle been brought back up....i.e. trying to find a good spin for JPD?