KSTP news director responds to social media video regarding reporter Rich Reeve

We at 5 Eyewitness News are aware of a video circulating on social media that shows only a portion of a confrontation during the unrest in South Minneapolis on Wednesday night, involving one of our reporters, Richard Reeve.  There have been accusations that our reporter was playing sound effects of gunshots from his cell phone.  We have investigated what actually happened before the video on social media began recording.

Our reporter was using his cell phone to document the peaceful protest crowd that was moving down the street.  As he did so, he captured a video of an individual discharging a firearm into the air.  Wanting to confirm the sound he heard, he went to play back the video on his cell phone which indeed shows an individual shooting into the air.  Having confirmed the authenticity of this video, we are presenting it here for your viewing:  

[anvplayer video=”4914062″ station=”998122″]

What is appearing on social media begins just after the moment when our reporter is checking the video to confirm the footage. He was then approached by a group of individuals who challenged what he was doing. As can be clearly seen, he tried to show one of the people in the group the footage he had just shot with his cell phone.

There have been false accusations that our reporter was playing the sound of the gunshots to upset the crowd, and that is simply not true.  Also not true is that the sound of gunshots was falsely used in our reporting.  We chose not to broadcast his video because we felt it ultimately did not contribute to our efforts to impartially portray the events that were happening in a rapidly developing situation.

Those are the facts as we have determined them and supported by the accounts of multiple witnesses who were present. We fully support our reporter, who was trying to do his job, under difficult circumstances as he has continued to do so throughout this unprecedented week in our Twin Cities.

-Kirk Varner, News Director
5 Eyewitness News