A white 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.
Sean 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. “The underlying cause of all of this, of course, young black men growing up without fathers.”
The station said, “reporters must be objective and not state personal opinions on-air.
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.”
Bergin, 49, worked for News 12 as a freelance reporter for seven years, for six or seven days a week. He made about $1,300 a week working on stories in New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester.
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.