KTLA informed viewers that Anchor Lu Parker was off the air.
During the station's 1PM newscast, they advised viewers that, " there is a reason Lu Parker is not sitting here she is in South Carolina on a medical emergency... however we do expect her to be sitting back here on Monday."
Parker is in South Carolina visiting her dad who is ill.
But, it was the trip to South Carolina that landed Parker in the news. Parker was at LAX and as she was making her way through the TSA security checkpoint, she took some headphones that were not hers.
The passenger, an off duty LAPD Detective noticed that her headphones had been taken, notified security and Parker was pulled from her flight and arrested.
Parker claims that it was all a big mistake and she was actually planned on trying to return the headphones to their owner.
Her story certainly seems a bit odd. Why didn't she just alert the passenger or tell TSA about the headphones? Why not just hand the item over to TSA, or an airline employee?
Also, KTLA has quickly come to Parker's defense. “We believe this is a misunderstanding, Lu is cooperating fully with the authorities and we are confident she will be able to clear this all up,” KTLA said in a statement. Parker was traveling to visit her ill father and was in the security line when she noticed that the earbuds had been left behind. She picked them up intending to return them to the owner whom she had been speaking with while in line to clear TSA,” KTLA said in a statement.
Most often when an employee is arrested for something like this, the station usually says, "we're aware of the incident and we're looking into the matter."
But, KTLA came straight out in support and told viewers that she was dealing with a "medical emergency" and will be back on Monday. No mention of the arrest.
Now, the idea that a station is supporting its employee is a nice change, but are they heading down a slippery slope?
What if another KTLA Anchor is arrested for drunk driving this weekend? The employee tells the station it was just a mistake, "I was tired, I took some cold medicine and I wasn't drunk."
Will KTLA quickly jump to that Anchor's defense? Will they issue a statement on their behalf? If not, then why not? They did it for Parker.
Also, the idea of Anchor's stealing is not unheard of. An Anchor in Tucson lost her job after being arrested for stealing. Same thing happened to an Anchor in Phoenix.
As for Parker, once the lawyers get involved, expect to see this case go away and charges dropped. But still, there are many unanswered questions that will likely remain that way.