Protesters Gathered Outside ABC30

November 26, 2008 1:03:26 AM PST
Protesters say the comments made by KFSN's former general manager, Bob Hall, only perpetuate negative stereotypes about Latinos and minorities as a whole.Mr. Hall resigned his position Saturday and is no longer with the company.

Now, protestors are asking the D-A's office to investigate the truthfulness behind some of the statements made by Mr. Hall under oath.

"I don't have any brothers, I don't have any nephews, any cousins that are in prison-- I resent that statement," shouted protester Gloria Hernandez.

The statement that angered protesters was made last Tuesday by former abc-30 general manager Bob Hall during jury selection for a carjacking case involving a Hispanic male. According to court transcripts-- Hall told the court he could not be a fair juror because research being conducted by abc-30 showed a propensity for certain socioeconomic groups to commit crime.

Station management maintains no such research exists.

"As Bob Hall himself acknowledged in his apology, the station in fact has not done any research about any ethnic group and the commission of crime, and is not working on any stories of this nature, " said abc-30 news director Tracey Watkowski.

"When prospective jurors are being questioned, they are under oath-- so if what Mr. Hall said is false, then it must have been perjury."

Joel Murillo with "El Concilio de Fresno", a political action group is now asking the Fresno county D-A to investigate. "We have been assured there is no study but we want an independent party to verify that."

Abc-30 met with several Latino leaders Monday-- and agreed to work together on issues of interest and concern to the Latino community.

Venancio Gaona, El Concilio de Fresno: "If we are saying that 48-percent of the county are Chicano-Latino, then they must be doing something positive... such as buying homes, cars, etc."

Several protesters held signs Tuesday, and asked that this station and the rest of the media use this incident as an opportunity to help dispel negative stereotypes about Latinos and other minorities.

Steve Santos, protester: "What they run on their news is stories and those stories are about us-- and how they portray us affects our kids, affects us, affects our race? that is what this protest is about."

We contacted the Fresno county district attorney's office, they told us no investigation into this matter is pending.

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