Media retracts ShotSpotter stories based on ‘false claim’ reported by Vice
The Associated Press joins a handful of other outlets in backing down from the accusation that ShotSpotter, at the request of police, altered contact information for a shooting incident.
FREMONT, Calif. – ShotSpotter, Inc. (Nasdaq: SSTI), a provider of law enforcement technology solutions believed to enable law enforcement to more effectively respond to, investigate and deter crime, announces that the The Associated Press has joined a growing list of outlets that have retracted, corrected or clarified their reporting on a patently false claim originally published by Vice Media.
The world news organization also corrected its reporting to explain that a ShotSpotter forensic report was in fact admissible as evidence in a 2014 California case. After correcting its report, The Associated Press informed all editors who originally received the uncorrected article.
The Associated Press joined the Daily Mail, The Register, the University of Illinois at Chicago Law Review, Data Science Central and technology publication Hot Hardware in moving away from the charge, which ShotSpotter says is clearly false, which, at the request of the police, ShotSpotter changed the coordinates of the shots at an intersection where Chicago’s Michael Williams car had been seen as Vice had previously claimed.
As court records demonstrate, the company’s real-time alert from the night of the shooting and its subsequent detailed forensic report both included GPS coordinates and maps placing the shots at the exact same intersection ( see picture below).
In a March 7 filing, ShotSpotter attorney Megan L. Meier told the court, “Vice started the viral lie that ShotSpotter conspired with the police to entrap people. This lie was taken as fact by other media outlets and quickly spread through social media and respected civil rights and criminal justice organizations, undermining the trust that ShotSpotter has earned over the past 25 years. .
“VICE has grossly misrepresented the way ShotSpotter carefully and faithfully prepares court-admissible forensic evidence and expert testimony for criminal proceedings,” said Ralph Clark, president and CEO of ShotSpotter. “I’m glad the editors made the effort to review the court records themselves.”
Last October, ShotSpotter filed a $300 million lawsuit in Delaware Superior Court against Vice Media for defamatory and false statements against the company’s shot detection technology.