ABC received outraged complaints from Hyattsville, Maryland, following embellished crime statistics in an episode of 'Commander in Chief'.
Following a recent episode of 'Commander in Chief''s depiction of particular city, ABC has come under fire from the city's residents. ABC was forced to apologise to the citizens of Hyattsville, Maryland, a suburb of Washington DC in Prince George County, after the episode in question took certain liberties with the crime rates in the area.
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The episode depicted Hyattsville as a crime-ridden place, with one character mentioning that 11 homicides had occurred in the area of Hyattsville in the past six months. But, unsurprisingly, the area took issues with this. Jim Keary, a spokesman for the County Executive Jack. B. Johnson, told the Associated Press: "We haven't had 11 homicides in Hyattsville in the past 10 years".
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The episode in question, 'Ties That Bind' depicted the county undergoing a series of riots due to the lack of police supervision and high homicide rates. When one of the characters hears about the violent protests, they organise a group of 40 US marshals to travel to the area in an effort to establish order. In addition to Keary comments, Peter A. Shapiro, a former County Council member responded with outrage, stating that "they took the largest, wealthiest black county and reduced it to a stereotype of a poor, dangerous black neighbourhood. And the irony is the neighbourhood isn't even a poor black neighbourhood."
With the response to the episode being less than what they expected, ABC released an official statement revealing how the reports were entirely fictionalised for the show's dramatic aspects. The fabricated statistics may have courted controversy, yet according to ABC, "while we used the name of the community, and we researched crime statistics related to the area, we also embellished the reality to enhance the story. Our goal is not to document actual events, but to create characters and compelling stories for our viewers."