to the helicopter reporter who referred to the men ransacking the adidas store as “cockroaches”…”

To the NBC4 helicopter reporter who referred to the men ransacking the adidas store as “cockroaches:”

Last night, I watched as you offered commentary from your helicopter about the men who stepped in the smashed window of an Adidas shop and exited with boxes of shoes. You and a female reporter expressed disgust at the “looters” without any reference to the BLM-LA X BLK PWR peaceful rally that attracted 10,000 activists, families, and children earlier in the day, or without any understanding of inequity in Los Angeles before or after COVID-19.

And then at 8:45 pm, as your helicopter hovered above the Adidas store, you said: “They’re coming out of stores like cockroaches…”

Yes, you said: They’re coming out of stores like cockroaches.

You referred to men as cockroaches.

Frozen, my teenage daughter and I waited for you to retract your words or apologize, but you continued to talk as if you had not referred to men –albeit thieves – as cockroaches.

This morning, I searched the NBC4 channel for your name but only found this short clip in which you say, Look at that. The car is loaded in the back seat. They’re just piling into the back seat. Wow. Wow. The clip is edited. Your name is not visible nor is your racist statement included, so I’m hoping that your station will identify you and pass this letter on to you.

I am heartbroken that we have reached a point in history where anyone – let alone someone in the media – can refer to men as “cockroaches” and have impunity to be racist. I am losing hope when I serve as witness to racism in mainstream reporting that goes unchecked.

As a reporter, you could have sought someone from the community to explain why the “looting” happened. You could have invited a police representative to answer why policemen obstructed the march instead of joining the protesters.

Instead of making derogatory comments, I urge you to resign from your position and re-educate yourself. Study history. Learn about the looting, plundering, and genocide of the African continent. Try to understand poverty and injustice. Maybe then you can alter your mindset and think before you speak.

Sincerely, Sehba

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