Pittsburgh radio station WAMO 100 suspended one of its hosts, Mike Jax (real name Mike Jackson), for comments he posted on Instagram about Freddie Gray. Gray, 25, died April 19 in Baltimore, Maryland police custody. His death has sparked numerous protests in Baltimore and other cities.
Both the Department of Justice and the police are reviewing how his death happened.
Jax posted on Instagram a list of “22 charges Gray faced prior to his death” with a photo of Gray, Pittsburgh TV news WPXI reported.
The caption for the image read that Gray “was pretty busy before he was unjustly killed at the hands of Baltimore PD. #prayforbaltimore.”
The post has since been deleted. See a screenshot of the Instagram post via Mediaite below:
WAMO100 told the Associated Press that the post was “too controversial.” The AP added that the station said it was also “partly inaccurate.”
The station received numerous complaints, according to WPXI. In a Facebook post, the station distanced itself from Jax’s post.
“WAMO100 has been a voice in the community and stays committed to be a responsible and reliable source for the events taking place in Pittsburgh as well as across the country,” the station said. “We are dedicated to presenting journalistic integrity as well as being sensitive to our listeners and their concerns.”
The station went on, “WAMO 100 does not share the views or condone the comments expressed on a WAMO100 employee’s personal social media page. As a representative of WAMO100, we expect a code of conduct that should transcend the air waves. We thank you listeners for your concerned calls and emails.”
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Jax also apologized, posting on Instagram: “I’d like to apologize for my previous post. My intention was not to justify Freddie Gray’s death. It was to highlight that his arrest record DOES NOT justify his death. I’m sorry I was not more clear.”
I’d like to apologize for my previous post. My intention was not to justify Freddie Gray’s death. It was to highlight that his arrest record DOES NOT justify his death. I’m sorry I was not more clear. (Created with @tweegram app)
iMediaEthics has written to WAMO and Jax for comment.