BLACK VOICES
07/16/2014 11:19 am ET | Updated Jul 16, 2014

Reporter Blames 'Anti-Cop' Mentality In Inner Cities On Lack Of Black Fathers

A local television reporter was suspended after suggesting black male youths "growing up without fathers" were to blame for spreading an "anti-cop" mentality throughout inner-city neighborhoods across the country.

News 12's Sean Bergin's on-air comments were made Sunday following the fatal shooting of Melvin Santiago, a rookie police officer in Jersey City.

The 23-year-old officer was ambushed and killed while responding to an armed robbery at a Walgreens.

During the segment, Bergin said such anti-police sentiments have "so contaminated America's inner cities" and that "the underlying cause of all of this, of course, young black men growing up without fathers.

"Unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject.”

But not only were the freelance reporter's comments incorrect -- a number of media outlets have, in fact, discussed the state of black fatherhood and its effect on the African-American community -- he also failed to acknowledge the history of distrust for authority and police brutality within urban and primarily black areas.

Bergin said he was subsequently suspended.

A Facebook group was also created calling for the news station to bring back Bergin to the station.

A spokesperson declined to provide details on Bergin's specific personnel issues, but acknowledged it was against the news organization's policies to express their opinions on-air.

"It is News 12's policy that reporters must be objective and not state personal opinions on-air. In regards to the particular incident with Sean Bergin, the matter is being addressed internally and we don't comment on personnel matters," a spokesperson said.

Subscribe to the Black Voices email.
Stay plugged in with the stories on black life and culture.

CONVERSATIONS