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‘Coffee, corruption, donuts': TV station apologizes for airing parody police shield

A television station mistakenly used an altered graphic of the Philadelphia Police shield, which reads ‘honor, integrity, service’

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By Robert Moran
The Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA — Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said Thursday night that NBC10 has apologized for including a graphic in a news segment that altered the wording on the Philadelphia Police Department’s motto to “coffee, corruption, donuts.”

The actual words are “honor, integrity, service” and it appears in the department’s “shield,” which has the shape of a badge and can be found on uniforms and department vehicles.

The segment was about city employees, including five police officers, who have died from COVID-19 and the altered graphic was briefly displayed. An updated version of the segment is available on the NBC10 website and an image with the correct words has replaced the altered version.

In a statement on Twitter, Outlaw said: “Earlier tonight on an @NBCPhiladelphia news broadcast, an inappropriate and insulting graphic of the PPD Shield was shown during a story related to COVID-19 deaths of city employees — including 5 of our officers. I want to thank NBC10 for their quick correction...and apology. We certainly understand mistakes happen, as we are all human beings. However, mistakes such as these can tear away at our legitimacy, & can also diminish the work of our employees who risk their safety every day to provide #HonorIntegrityAndService to our great city!”

NBC10 apologized for the graphic during a subsequent newscast Thursday night and posted a written version on Facebook in response to a flood of comments expressing outrage: “In a story on our 5 p.m. newscast that was meant to help police officers and other frontline city workers, we made a mistake. We intended to use a picture of the Philadelphia police shield that says ‘honor, integrity, and service.’ Instead, we mistakenly inserted a parody version that was disrespectful to everyone on the force. We regret the error. And we apologize to every man and woman on the Philadelphia police force.”

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