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WWAY news director arrested during MLK parade


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington Police arrested WWAY News Director Scott Pickey for traffic offenses during the MLK Day Parade in downtown Wilmington.

During the parade, which started at noon on Front Street, police would not allow WWAY employees to leave the station's parking lot to get to news coverage. After a reporter was forced to wait for an extended time and told he'd have to wait for the entire parade, which ended after 2 p.m., Pickey asked officers again to allow the reporter to leave during one of the frequent breaks in the parade. Officers refused to allow this or contact a supervisor for permission.

When Pickey got in the car and drove out of the parking lot during another break in the parade, police arrested him.

He's been charged with failure to obey a traffic officer and careless and reckless operation. Pickey was released from jail under $1,000 unsecured bond. He is due in court February 28.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Love it!

First of all I disagree with the parade taking place downtown during business hours on a Monday. However, most downtown businesses are closed because of the holiday. Better downtown than down the middle of College Road or Oleander Drive. I think better planning and notification of the parade times/route could have prevented frustrations such as this one.

But I am glad that Scott was arrested. He is no different than any other person who was put out by this celebration. He should accepted the fact that he and his reporter had to wait until the parade was over. But he didn't. Apparently he thinks he is above the law. Very shameful behavior...for both Scott and WWAY! Somewhat hypocritical, especially when he's always ready to report about others breaking the law. I just wish WECT had been there to catch it on camera!

typical thinking

Downtown ILM is busy. Why in the world would you let a parade come through there on a work day, in the first place? A parade does not mean everyone is under lockdown in their businesses. This stuff needs to be done on a weekend or keep the route of the parade off busy streets where people are conducting business. For Scott to jump out and cross the street during a break in the parade is not asking for to much. Do this stuff at a reasonable time or keep it off main streets.

Riiiiiight, because the black community....

Riiiiiight, because the black community would no doubt be fully supportive of being told "No, MLK, Jr., was not important enough to warrant a day off or even a parade." "No, you cannot have your parade on busy streets...stay in the back of the bus and on secondary roads so that as few people as possible will have to come in contact with you."

That would go over about as well as a fart in church.


How about people just plan ahead and park their vehicles in a "reasonable" place on days when there will be PRE-ANNOUNCED road closures due to parades or other events? It's not like this parade just popped up out of nowhere, leaving a select few people "stranded." Their lack of planning does not constitute an emergency.

Those poor policemen

They could have had the chance to frisk Cackey, Ashley, or Katie.
No they have to frisk you.
What a bitter disappointment......
No wonder we consider most cops hero's


I guess

Perhaps they were smart enough to read the report from their own station stating that there was a parade that day and they wouldn't be able to get in or out of the parking lot until it was over.

The parade should have been

The parade should have been confined to its appropriate neighborhood. Why tie up downtown with this? If Mr. Pickey did not endanger anybody, why was he not allowed to leave the studio? Sounds like more of Wilmington police jackbooted BS.

This is my neighborhood

Excuse me!!! the parade should have been confined to its own neighborhood? This is my neighborhood! God bless the hands of the
dead slaves that built many of our historic buildings in the downtown area. Is this parade of less importance compared to the
Azalea Festival parade which is held on sat. one of the busiest shopping days of the week, plus lots of businesses were closed today.
wway-tv should have developed a strategy to have their reporters
already stationed outside of the parade area in case they needed to
cover a story somewhere else. Again this is my neighborhood and I can't wait until the parade travels down 3rd street pass the courthouse , city hall etc.

The Parade should have been!

As long as I pay taxes...just like you...sorry it is all my neighborhood.


did they do a Brian Berger on you? Blood tests and breathalizer?

After all, one must be under some influence to disregard directions from one of Wilmington's finest.

Talk about live and local.

Or was it just a slow news day?

That is over the top

As much I can giggle at the thought of Scott in Jail jammies and playing the blues on a harmonica. It sounds like not allowing WWAY staff to leave the parking lot during a parade break is unfair. On the other hand you are 1/2 block or morefrom Redcross St and if the street was crowded I could see the PD might have some valid safety concerns and Cops have a habit of getting really PO'ed when you disobey them
Maybe you should plan ahead next time?

Pickey..taste of his own medicine?

Well look who is being discussed in the comment section? Brian Berger must be jumping up and down in his living room, black people everywhere are rejoicing as Mr. Picky is getting his own medicine. Will this be discussed on The Rant? My question is if the parade started at 12, why would the news reporters be leaving well after the parade started?

"During the parade, which started at noon on Front Street"

Sounds like Mr. Pickey made his own bed and now have to lie in it.

No, all black people are not

No, all black people are not rejoicing. To believe that your emotions are shared by others just because you share the same ethnicity is ridiculous and could be indicative of mental illness. The delusional thoughts you posted are sad. Why should black people be excited that a White man was arrested? Also, what does this have to do with Brian Berger? He is getting his day in court, why should he be jumping up and down? If that is what you would do typing that would be better. Imposing your feelings and beliefs on others is bad business.

Aside from that nonsense, I believe it could have been handled better by both sides. Mr. Pickey seemed to have been annoyed. Instead of being a bit warm under the collar he should have contacted someone at the police station or, should have secured permission earlier to leave the news station. I am sure they knew the parade route and posted it for their readers ahead of time. When it came across their desks, it should have raised a red flag.

However, everything does not go as planned. This is just one human who let his emotions get the best of him. Even the best of us have that issue. Instead of rejoicing, the poster should have been glad that WWAY did not hide this and displayed their own in the same fashion as others.


First question is: were all the businesses that were to affected by the parade notified before hand that they would not have traffic access for the complete duration of the parade? If not, shame on the parade oranizers and the police.
Second question is: if the businesses were notified before hand, then why oh why were the WWAY news vehicles not parked elsewhere during the time of the parade and the employees radio dispatched to whatever news they needed to cover?


You would think the police would have made some announcements or made some other plans for people working along the parade route when the parade was taking place.
Perhaps given WWAY some notice so that employees could park their cars elsewhere and walk to them to gather news...

Need bail money Scott?


How do you know they didn't?

How do you know they didn't? If all businesses knew the plan before hand and Scott still did not do what he was instructed, then he deserved to be arrested.


There are three thoughts that come to mind here.
First, that WWAY should have known the parade would impact their ability to come and go. Knowing a parade was going right by your front door and parking lot could have been easily addressed.
Second, most businesses were closed for the holiday, however news organizations do work 24/7 and do dispatch reporters from this location.
Third - this was a change from prior years and the FIRST time the parade was held in this location - EVER.

It would appear to me that WWAY misjudged how this would impact them. IT is also apparent that parade organizers became complacent and assumed that the parade route businesses KNEW this was going to happen in their area - after all everyone on Castle Street had been aware for years!! Of course, this isn't Castle Street....

There's plenty of fault in this for all concerned - but the least amount of blame goes to the Wilmington PD who were just doing their jobs.
I would chalk this up to parade growing pains
Scott was wrong for disobeying a Police Officer - he is a semi public persona and should set an example.


Typical...what a bully! No

Typical...what a bully! No surprise here! What a joke Pickey and the WWAY News team are!


Then why are you here you idiot!? Say's who!? Say's Kblue!!!

A lawsuit waiting to be filed

The Wilmington. Cops were out of control and will likely face a police misconduct suit. You can't stop business from operating because of a parade. If there was a break in the parade, there is absolutely no reason why a vehicle would not have been permitted through, especially one from an area business conducting business along the route.

Watch for a lawsuit and disciplinary action against the cops. I suspect this was all recorded, even if the police don't know it yet, and that video may lead to police suspensions or even terminations.

Really...what law was broken

Really...what law was broken by the police officer??? What was the misconduct by the police officer??? The business were told ahead of time of what the plan was but Scott decided that since he worked for the news he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to. Guess he was wrong.