Earlier this year, New Times columnist Uncle Luke complained that The First 48, A&E's reality series that follows Miami police as they attempt to solve homicides, was unfairly depicting the city's black neighborhoods as "war zones."
Maybe the Miami cops agreed. The department has asked The First 48's producers to donate $10,000 per new episode to its Police Athletic League charity, Chief Manuel Orosa told the Miami Herald on Saturday.
The money would go to parks and schools in the communities the show frequents, Orosa said. In the past, The First 48 has centered on crimes in Overtown, Liberty City, and Little Haiti.
The show's production company hasn't agreed to the new terms, and the previous contract between police and the show has expired. The First 48's cameras have stopped accompanying detectives in their investigations.
From the show's debut in 2004 to the present, critics in cities where it's been shot -- Detroit, Memphis, Houston, Cincinnati, Tuscon, and more -- have complained that having TV cameras rolling while detectives work complicates and sometimes undermines police investigations. Seven-year-old Aiyana Jones was shot and killed during a police raid in Detroit that was captured on The First 48's cameras. Some alleged that the officers acted more brashly to impress theie television audience.
But The First 48 has been a highly successful series for A&E, at least from a television standpoint. Its season six made it the highest rated non-fiction justice TV program in the U.S., and the 2009 premiere of its eighth season captured 2.3 million viewers. The show has had 12 seasons in total.
John Kim, a producer and co-creator of the show, told the Herald that he still hopes to work out a deal with the Miami PD.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.
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