Miami Police department homicide detective's time in the reality TV spotlight may be over. For years producers of the popular A&E program The First 48 have followed local detectives during the first 48 hours after a murder, but with growing criticism that the show gives a bad name to Miami and requests that producers donate more to the Police Athletic League it appears that the relationship may be over.
Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa tells The Miami Herald that producers wouldn't agree to donate $10,000 per episode to the P.A.L. With the department's contract with the show up Orosa doesn't seem too keen to renew.
Though the series follows police departments through out the country, Miami may have the questionable distinction of being the geographic "star" of the show. 113 Miami cases have been featured during the show's 12 season history.
This has lead to some community activists pointing out that the show paints Miami in an unfavorable light. Uncle Luke levied criticism on the show for concentrating on Miami's Black neighborhoods back in March:
The show is essentially propaganda. The First 48 brainwashes a national cable television audience into believing these places are war zones they should avoid if they ever visit the Magic City. The episodes are like public service announcements telling the world: "Don't come here. Stay in Brickell, Coconut Grove, or downtown Miami."
The City of Miami allows the First 48 producers to profit from the blood of a predominantly poor, African-American constituency. City leaders should be telling First 48's show runners to turn off the cameras. In fact, poitical leaders need to wake up, from Miami Gardens to Florida City, to the fact that we are all part of a tourist destination.
Though producers still hope they can hammer out an agreement with the department to continue featuring the city on the show.