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KIRO Leschi Report

KIRO Leschi Report

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Published by Julian A.
May 11, 2012 Todd Mokhtari News Director KIRO TV 2807 Third Avenue Seattle, WA 98121 Dear Mr. Mokhtari, The recent news story concerning Chester Harris is not only a shockingly low point for the KIRO news organization, it is a misleading and discriminatory portrayal of Mr. Harris, has placed him in a false light and caused him serious harm. I serve as the Reporting Corresponding Secretary for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 609, which represents Mr. Harris, and I write to ur
May 11, 2012 Todd Mokhtari News Director KIRO TV 2807 Third Avenue Seattle, WA 98121 Dear Mr. Mokhtari, The recent news story concerning Chester Harris is not only a shockingly low point for the KIRO news organization, it is a misleading and discriminatory portrayal of Mr. Harris, has placed him in a false light and caused him serious harm. I serve as the Reporting Corresponding Secretary for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 609, which represents Mr. Harris, and I write to ur

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Published by: Julian A. on May 12, 2012
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May 11, 2012Todd MokhtariNews DirectorKIRO TV2807 Third AvenueSeattle, WA 98121Dear Mr. Mokhtari,The recent news story concerning Chester Harris isnot only a shockingly low point for the KIRO news organization,it is a misleading and discriminatory portrayal of Mr. Harris,has placed him in a false light and caused him serious harm. Iserve as the Reporting Corresponding Secretary for theInternational Union of Operating Engineers Local 609, whichrepresents Mr. Harris, and I write to urge you to immediatelyremove the misleading and discriminatory story to avoid thenecessity of taking further action.The story contains several glaring omissions, theinclusion of which would tend to disprove the outrageousallegations made by KIRO. First, the complaints about Mr.Harris originate within one family, although the storyinaccurately insinuates that complaints from several familiesare involved.
For instance, the news video states: “Twoparents, two students, telling a very similar story.”
Thischaracterization of the facts falsely suggests that theallegations against Mr. Harris have been corroborated frommultiple sources, when in fact, only one complainant family isinvolved. The fact is that the Hendricks/Howard family isengaged in an ongoing pattern of harassment against Mr. Harris,which KIRO has propagated by providing a platform for a falseand misleading telling of the story.Additionally, the story shockingly neglects toinclude any reference to the investigation into the Februaryincident revealed that all of the eyewitnesses contradicted theclaims made by the family.
KIRO’s story also fails to disclose
the fact that the student involved in the February incident wasfound to have provided false testimony (by claiming, forinstance, that Mr. Harris had signed the student out to go homewhen in fact the sign out sheet definitively disproved this
 
allegation). It also fails to include the fact that the
investigating police officer “found no evidence of criminalactivity” after investigating the February incident.
 The story and video also contain inaccuracies andgrossly misleading statements. For instance, the video news clipstates that the police reportstates that Mr. Harris directed astudent to go to his office when in fact, the police reportclearly states that this allegation was made by the complainingparent. By inaccurately attributing the aforementionedstatement to the police, as opposed to the complainant, thestory falsely suggests that the allegations leveled against Mr.Harris have been found credible, when in fact everyinvestigation into Mr. Harris has proven the claims made againsthim to be baseless. The story also makes the inflammatory claim
that “little has been done” in response to parents’ complaints –
 a statement that appears patently false, given that all of theallegations against Mr. Harris have been investigated, andseveral reports have been issued finding no merit to the claimsleveled against him.The article and news video also misleadingly claimthat police never spoke with Mr. Harris because of an oversight,when in fact the police report clearly states that the reportwas concluded without interviewing Mr. Harris, who had gone home
for the day, because the investigating officer “found noevidence of any criminal activity.”
The stories also fail todisclose that Mr. Harris was interviewed about the Februaryincident as part of the investigation conducted by SeattlePublic Schools. That report included a summary of an interviewwith Mr. Harris, as well as seven other witnesses, none of whomprovided any testimony to support the allegations leveledagainst Mr. Harris.Also troubling is the reference in the story to Mr.
Harris’ prior arrests that did not result in criminal
conviction.
As the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s
recent enforcement guidelines regarding the consideration of
arrest and conviction records state, “the fact of an arrest does
not establish that criminal conduct has occurred. Arrests arenot proof of criminal conduct. Many arrests do not result incriminal charge
s, or the charges are dismissed.” The guidelines
also note that African Americans and Hispanics are arrested at arate 2 to 3 times higher than their proportion of the general

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