Detroit, MI – A local news reporter apologized for a slip of the tongue that got him into big trouble with police supporters.
On Nov. 25, Gino Vicci, of WXYZ, was reporting on a police deputy who fatally shot a masked intruder who broke into her home, when he mistakenly referred to the intruder as “the victim.”
Viewers started messaging Vicci as soon as the segment aired, asking if the wording had been intentional, and pointing out that the sheriff’s deputy was actually the victim, and Blue Lives Matter reported on it.
Vicci said he made a mistake when he referred to the masked man as a victim.
“It wasn’t until the very end and it was one of those things – you have a shooter, and you have someone who is shot – in most cases that’s the victim. It was a little parsing of words,” the reporter told Blue Lives Matter.
“If you watch the story from the anchor intro to my first live open, every reference to that individual who was killed by the deputy, who was obviously protecting her home, was either ‘burglar’ or ‘intruder.’ It was almost the last sentence – in a fumbled attempt to state that each of the party’s involved identities’ were concealed – I described the suspect as the victim,” Vicci said.
Vicci was quick to apologize for his mistake and attempt to the correct the record. In fact, he said he and his family are huge police supporters.
In addition to his career in journalism, Vicci owns a Saginaw restaurant, the Sandweesh Mediterranean Grille. He said it’s practically a police hangout.
“You come in here, you’d think it was a cop sandwich shop,” he said. Vicci’s restaurant offers a 25 percent discount to first responders, and a 10 percent discount to veterans.
“They’re the only people who get discounts at my restaurant,” Vicci said.
There a number of law enforcement professionals in Vicci’s family, and in his wife’s family as well. His brother-in-law was a detective in Clinton Township for 25 years. There is an active-duty Wayne County sheriff’s deputy on his wife’s side. His uncle and several cousins were also police officers, he said.
Vicci said he’s glad that WXYZ viewers called him out on the mistake, because it showed how much support police have in their community.
“I’m appreciative of those who criticized me because that means they support police – and I support police,” he said.
“In a really strange way, I’m okay with all of this, if this is what had to happen for people to know where I stand,” Vicci said.