A Milwaukee Police officer has sued NBC affiliate WTMJ for "defamation of professional reputation" after the station aired a story that showed him in a negative light even though he had done nothing wrong.
Officer Matthew Knight's lawsuit names WTMJ and Journal Broadcast Group. The station is owned by the parent company of the Journal Sentinel.
The story aired surveillance video showing Knight and what police said was a drunk Marine waking up to an ATM. The video shows the officer taking out the man's ATM card, punching in the man's pin, withdrawing money, then counting the money and leaving.
The promo for the story said, "A Milwaukee police officer taking a man's cash out of an ATM. Then walking off with that cash in hand. What's really going on? The Milwaukee Police Department has some explaining to do."
The story failed to mention that police were called when the man broke a taxicab's window. The cabdriver agreed not to press charges if the man paid $300 to repair the damage. The officer was helping the man withdraw the money to pay the cabbie. Knight had been cleared two months before the story aired after an internal investigation.