|For immediate release
November 20, 2002
NPR: Laura Gross
Chief Charles Moose Speaks About Stereotyping, Leaks, and Other Aspects of the Sniper Attacks with NPR's Tavis Smiley
LOS ANGELES- On Thursday, November 21, 2002, Montgomery County, Md. Police Chief Charles Moose will appear on The Tavis Smiley Show from NPRŽ for an in-depth, one-on-one interview that includes his perception of the sniper attacks investigation, his disappointment in members of his staff leaking to the media, and about lessons learned.
Chief Moose spoke with Smiley about his team's relationship with the media and how that affected the investigation. "The hot and cold relationship between law enforcement and the media was there prior to this case, it occurred during this case, and it remains part of the relationship between law enforcement and the media," said Moose. "This is a great country. The freedom of the press, the need to know about people makes it a great place to live, but it also makes it delicate sometimes when trying to conduct a police investigation."
When commenting on the problem of leaks to the media, Chief Moose told Smiley, "I would want to look at some internal controls because I am certainly aware that it's easy to bash the media, but the information that they had was information that they got from people in the law enforcement community. So there are two places of blame here. And so I would always look for additional mechanisms to assure that people within the task force who had the information would hold it a little closer."
Chief Moose said, "Certainly we're looking at all the facets of the case for lessons learned, ways to improve. I'm not looking at it from a sense of investigating and eventually punishing someone. But clearly, we'd be smart to look at it for process changes, ideas to contain leaks, and that's something that we do at the end of every investigation, especially one as high profile as this."
Smiley asked Moose about his reaction when he learned the suspects were African American and Moose said, "It is sad that anyone did the kind of things that these people are accused of doing, but on the other hand none of us should ever stereotype. All the things that we tell our children everyday, during this investigation, a number of adults were guilty of those mistakes. So hopefully we learned this lesson."
The November 21 program will air on The Tavis Smiley Show from NPR, a weekday, one-hour talk magazine presenting news and ideas from an African-American perspective, broadcast on nearly 50 public radio stations across the U.S. and on the Web at npr.org. (Visit npr.org to find stations and broadcast times). Audio from today's program will be available after noon ET at npr.org.
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