WAAY-TV Huntsville, Ala., and local police are in disagreement about what caused the station to erroneously report that a police officer had been shot during an arrest. While police say they gave the same information to each station and only WAAY-TV got it wrong, News Director Al Carl said he was sure the police had made a mistake. The station broke into programming with its first bulletin Thursday morning and corrected it 12 minutes later.
The first correction attributed the mistake to the police's providing wrong information, Carl said, while later corrections referred to a communications mishap. "We even let [the police public-information officer] on the air to blast us. He took his shot, and we took our lumps."
Carl said his assignment editor, Rob Ballard, is a 15-year news veteran, and "I'd put my guy up in a lie-detector test. He's not going to glibly say a cop has been shot unless he thinks it's absolutely true."