los angeles county sheriff's department car
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Car. Photo by John Schreiber.

Fox Broadcasting apologized Tuesday for mistakenly including a photo of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department commander in its prime-time special “Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?”

Late Monday, the show’s production company, Critical Content, issued an apology on its Facebook page.

“Critical Content apologizes to Commander Steve Katz of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, whose photo was mistakenly included in last night’s airing of `Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?’ He is not the Steven Katz of the Los Angeles Police Department mentioned in the program.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department demanded an immediate public apology and retraction from Fox Broadcasting for what it called defamatory use of a photograph of one of the department’s commanders.

The department said Fox incorrectly identified Cmdr. Steven D. Katz as a detective involved in the investigation of the death of famed East Coast rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as Biggie Smalls, in the two-hour special that aired Sunday night.

Authorities said neither the department nor Katz had any involvement in Wallace’s death investigation.

An investigator named Steven Katz was involved in the investigation, but he worked for the Los Angeles Police Department.

“The segment defamed Katz by repeatedly showing his photograph and expressing through graphics, an indication of `disgrace and outrage’ into the handling of the case,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement Monday.

“The program also erroneously depicted the LASD as part of the investigation by showing our employee wearing his LASD name badge and standing in front of LASD logos, and indicating several times through graphics and statements, that he was the `lead investigator of (the) Biggie Murder.”‘

The sheriff’s department also said the show’s hosts Soledad O’Brien and the rapper and actor Ice-T, made derogatory comments alleging that the investigator lied and concealed files while showing photos of Katz.

Wallace was fatally shot near the Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard early on March 9, 1997. The killing was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.

—City News Service

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