KCRG is being accused to racial bias after the arrests of three University of Iowa wrestlers on suspicion of burglary.
This is the pictures that KCRG posted on their website after the wrestlers were arrested:
Now compare that to another story the station reported of the arrests of four men in Coralville charged with a burglary:
FTVLive is going to go out on a limb here and say that the pictures of the wrestlers are not nearly as damning as the other 4 guys.
The station admits that the side-by-side comparison makes the presentation appear racially motivated, but they say there is a reason for it.
KCRG says that it is their policy is to use the best photographs of suspects available when reporting crimes, while always requesting and using mug shots when one is available.
They say, "The mug shot is typically the best picture of suspects available when a crime or arrest is first reported, since those accused of a crime typically do not have a professional picture in a public archive or choose to send us one. Those mug shots come from county jails or police when a suspect is booked."
Problem is that in a later story on the wrestlers being arrested (pictures to the right), KCRG used the wrestlers mug shots from the jail. Which means, did the station just violate their own picture policy?
The station claimed there was a delay getting the wrestlers' mug shots from the jail. But, if their policy is to always use the best picture available, then why did they use the mugshots at all?
KCRG says, "At no time in this process or in our policies does race factor into coverage decisions."
But it does appear that after catching heat for the pictures, the station changed their policy and posted the wrestlers' mugshots after all.