The readers’ forum

‘First 48’ exploits victims of crime


Thank you for your recent coverage of the city of Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa’s decision not to renew a contract with the reality show The First 48. For years the show’s film crew has roamed the streets of Miami’s urban communities searching for victims of homicide to feature on their show.

It’s shameful that the show has been allowed to exploit the people who live and die in these communities in the name of show business and entertainment.

John Kim, the executive producer, claims to be helping the community and says that the show is “the only one on television that chronicles the real suffering of families and the ongoing violence in African-American neighborhoods.”

Kim doesn’t know, or needs to understand, that the show is not helping these neighborhoods; rather, it is exploiting them.

Sensationalizing violent deaths in order to make money is not keeping violent deaths relevant. Instead, it makes money off the people who lost their loved ones. No one needs a show to be reminded that their loved one has been murdered or their community is being marginalized by violent murders. What the show does prove is how insensitive, biased and culturally incompetent the producer is when he makes statements such as “It’s so easy to forget what’s happening.”

As an African-American mother of a murdered son, I find his views of our community disturbing. We must demand more from the show and its producers. We must not allow this company to come into our neighborhoods and send the message that this is the typical Miami urban community.

There is nothing entertaining about the bloodshed on the streets of South Florida. Furthermore, public officials have a moral obligation to stop businesses such as The First 48 from making money off the pain and suffering of crime victims. Many of these officials have turned their backs on programs designed to reduce crime.

Chief Orosa made a bold move by running this blood thirsty show out of Miami. This has been long overdue.

The police chief is to be commended for standing up to the media giant A&E for robbing our community and refusing to give back to the city’s Police Athletic League crime-prevention program.

Victims of violent crimes and the community must be protected. Neither should be up for sale at any cost.

Queen Brown, Miami Gardens

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