The criminal ran away from the officers, hopped in the back of a stolen limousine and suddenly screamed in agony. It turns out that a cop was waiting there with a stun gun and the bad guy ends up in a metro Detroit police video.
The video was shown on national TV show, but there was a slight problem: Keith Todd, a construction worker from western Michigan, was identified instead. The criminal’s name is Todd Keith.
Todd’s uncle was watching the show, “Caught on Camera: Dash Cam Diaries” on MSNBC when he saw someone familiar to him. He saw’s Todd’s name and face connected to the perpetrator, acknowledged as a habitual criminal.
Soon enough, there was a lawsuit filed against the NBC Universal, Eastpointe Police Department and A One Limousine. Public humiliation, crying spells, loss of employment income and more are described in the complaint filed in Wayne County Circuit Court.
The apparent video came from an October 2009 Eastpointe case, wherein Keith, now 35, was near the gas station with a stolen limousine when its owner, John Gambino with A One Limousine, spotted him. In the dash-cam footage, officers arrive at the scene of the crime and arrested Keith.
According to the complaint, the Eastpointe Police “incorrectly researched” databases and sent the wrong photo, name and information to the network. The Police Department then responded and claimed that they don’t have any control over MSNBC’s programming and declined to comment further.
The channel was responsible because they “failed to exercise reasonable and proper care” to verify the facts and photo. The car company is also at fault since they never bother to check the name and photo.
“There doesn’t seem to be a lot of quality control,” said Jonathan Browning, the Grand Rapids lawyer, which represent Todd. “Nobody bothered to take a close look and confirm it was the right person.”
Todd sent a letter to withdraw the episode. The channel complied and pulled the episode from any reruns as well as its website. The photo and identification were corrected with a retraction Feb. 23. According to the correction, the name and the photo of the suspect is wrong and therefore, has no relation to the crime.
Damage too great
Browning said he and his client, Todd are aware of the retraction, but the damage has been done and it wasn’t enough to repair the reputation and well-being of his client. MSNBC did not explain on how the error came to be.
Browning added that they still don’t know how much money would they ask, but they know that it is more than $25, 000.