Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Spencer Crum says his comments in the Bohemian this week mischaracterized his views on Cops and that he never offered praise for the program.
His statement comes a day after the Bohemian reported that the Santa Rosa Police Department had not signed off on a contract with the controversial reality show. The SCSO signed a contract with the Cops producers, Langley Productions, earlier this month and the program started filming last week in Sonoma County.
Crum was sent a set of questions about SCSO’s decision to sign a contract with the Cops producers earlier this week, and one asked whether the spokesman could provide SCSO’s view of the critique of Cops that was laid out in a recent Marshall Project report.
The criminal-justice investigative website called Cops the most polarizing reality show in America in a report that ran in January, the same month that Langley was emailing SCSO and SRPD to solicit interest in Cops.
The inquiry sent to Crum, and to SCSO public-affairs specialist Misti Harris, noted that the show had been dropped by Fox in 2013 over longstanding concerns about its racially-biased depiction of policing.
Crum didn’t address any of that. Instead, he sent the following response:
“COPS provides a platform to provide information to the public on the good work being done by Sonoma County deputies and the challenges they face on the streets.”
That sure sounds like praising a show instead of addressing legitimate questions about it.
In an email, Crum now says that “I was praising the good work of our deputies and only stating COPS provides a platform to show our good work. I wasn’t praising the television show and I think your article mischaracterized my statement. That’s all I wanted to point out. In none of my answers did I praise the show.“