Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Knight is suing a local TV station and its parent company after the station aired a promotion and news report showing the officer taking money from a man at an ATM. The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday, July 2 with the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, states that the report “implied misconduct and criminal activity” even though WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) staffers knew Officer Knight was already cleared of any and all wrongdoing.
While the security footage, which was filmed on February 16, does look suspicious at first glance, it was not the result of any malfeasance by the officer. Officers were called to a situation downtown in which a man smashed the window of a taxi cab. The driver told police he would not press charges against the man if the man gave him $300 for the window. That’s why Officer Knight was with at the ATM that night with the man.
According to PoliceOne, the TV news story “began running on the station May 4 ahead of the report by Channel 4 reporter Jermont Terry characterized it as the result of an ‘explosive I -Team investigation.’
The promotion also said, ‘It’s the video that will have everybody talking,’ the suit said.”
Officer Knight’s suit claims the station has defamed and damaged his professional reputation. What do you think? Did the station misrepresent the officer or was it just reporting the news?