PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Fox News repeatedly broadcast dramatic footage of a barber being arrested, handcuffed, facedown on the street, though it knew the arrest was false and another man had been arrested and charged with two murders, the barber says in a defamation claim in Federal Court.
James Barner claims Fox kept broadcasting the defamatory film, misidentifying him as the murder suspect, even after the Philadelphia police chief had announced the other man’s arrest.
Barner says he was driving home from a billiards tournament at 2 a.m. on June 5, 2007, when he heard gunshots. Philadelphia police then arrested him and a passenger at gunpoint, and “a Fox News film crew, or an independent film crew with whom Fox News contracted,” filmed it, he said.
Barner says a second murder was committed while he was under arrest, and that police charged Desmond McMoore, whom Fox identified as “Desmond Moore,” with both murders.
Nonetheless, Barner says, even after the police chief held a press conference announcing “Moore’s” arrest, footage of his own false arrest “would be later used repeatedly in Fox News broadcasts, and on its local Web site, to falsely portray plaintiff as the individual, ‘Desmond Moore,’ who was criminally charged with committing the murders of both Francisco Rodriguez, at or near the corner of Broad and Lindley Streets, and Eric Christmas, at or near the intersection of Church Lane and Baynton Street, on the morning of June 5, 2007.”
Barner is represented by Ronald Greenblatt.