When a white TV reporter said the fatherlessness epidemic in the African-American community was responsible for anti-police sentiments among men of color, he was suspended from his station without pay.
Sean Bergin formerly of News 12 inserted his opinion when reporting on a black man killing a rookie Jersey City cop, who was later fatally shot down by other officers. The station said he was out of line.
"It's important to shine a light on this anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America's inner cities," Bergin said on-air. "The underlying cause of all of this, of course, young black men growing up without fathers."
Bergin's report, which aired Sunday, featured the widow of the now deceased shooter, Angelique Campbell, who told Bergin that Lawrence Campbell should have killed more officers, then later apologized.
Bergin said his commentary was in response to the widow’s comments according to the Associated Press.
"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.
But Bergin said he purposely went against that policy.
"If I had it to do over again, I would do the exact same thing," the reporter 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."
Breaking the rules got him suspendedwithout 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.
The National Association of Black Journalists' president, Bob Butler, refuted Bergin's ideology.
"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."