The Cops and the Cameras

The explosion of reality-based TV shows and news coverage creates problems for police in the spotlight

One afternoon in early January, Captain Robert Woods, head of the Los Angeles police department's air-support squad, was monitoring a high-speed car chase from his downtown office. A taxi was speeding south from Bakersfield along Interstate 5, pursued by several highway-patrol cars. Suddenly, after following the chase for more than an hour, Woods looked out his window and could see where it had ended. Nearly a dozen helicopters were circling the area -- six of them from local TV stations, which had been broadcasting the chase live. "Enough is enough," Woods said to himself. "Next we'll be covering helicopter crashes after...

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