NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A white TV reporter who voiced his opinions about black families and relations with police during a segment about a fatal police shooting said Tuesday he was suspended from his station and won’t return.
Sean Bergin said he was suspended from News 12 New Jersey without pay on Monday and with pay on Tuesday. Bergin, a contracted employee, said the station told him that his assignments would be cut to one a week and he declined to remain in the position.
Bergin’s report, which aired Sunday, featured the widow of a Black man who police say shot a rookie Jersey City police officer to death and who was then killed by officers responding to the shooting. The widow, Angelique Campbell, told Bergin that Lawrence Campbell should have killed more officers, but she later apologized.
Bergin said in his report that the underlying cause of an anti-police mentality is young Black men growing up without fathers.
“It’s important to shine a light on this anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities,” Bergin said after airing the widow’s comments and showing a memorial for her husband. “The underlying cause of all of this, of course, young Black men growing up without fathers.”
The TV station said that the response to Bergin’s report was being handled internally and that it doesn’t comment on personnel matters.
“It is News 12’s policy that reporters must be objective and not state personal opinions on-air,” the station said in a statement Tuesday.
Bergin said that he added his commentary just before going on air because he had heard from police officers outraged that the station was airing the widow’s comments.
“If I had it to do over again, I would do the exact same thing,” Bergin said. “I broke the rules. I knew I was breaking the rules. But sometimes you have to break the rules to do the right thing.”
He said that the issue of young black men without fathers deserves more media coverage.
The National Association of Black Journalists’ president, Bob Butler, challenged Bergin’s connection between young black men growing up without fathers and anti-police sentiments and said that Bergin went beyond the standards of a news reporter by inserting his views on the story.
“Are there problems in the inner city with kids without fathers? Yes. But does that make kids violent? No,” Butler said. “There are a lot of kids without fathers who go to college, graduate and become upstanding citizens. He’s talking about a social phenomenon where there’s lack of opportunity in communities.”
Bergin, 49, said that he has worked for News 12 as a freelance reporter for seven years, for six or seven days a week. He said he made about $1,300 a week working on stories in New Jersey and in New York’s Long Island and Westchester County.
He said the station told him Tuesday that if wished to remain he would be limited to one story a week on Long Island for $300.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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