GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan man is looking for public help in his struggling legal battle with MSNBC after the network aired his photo in connection to a crime he had nothing to do with.
The show, “Caught on Camera Dashcam Diaries,” aired in 2011. It featured a dumb-criminal style segment about a man who stole a limousine and then ran away as police closed in. The chase ended as the man dashed into the back of the stolen limo before police used a Taser and he was arrested.
The real suspect in the case is a man named Todd Keith. But somehow, the network aired a photo of a man three years younger from the city of Wyoming named Keith Todd.
Todd sued the television network, the limousine company and the Eastpointe Police Department that handled the criminal investigation. A judge on the east side of the state ruled in favor of the defendants to throw out the case shortly after it was filed.
Todd appealed that decision, but the Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling. He then took his fight to the Michigan Supreme Court. The panel of judges heard oral arguments but ultimately decided not to intervene in the case, in part because of the fact that MSNBC claims it got the information in the case from the police.
“It cannot be intentional, it cannot be reckless, it cannot be extreme, it cannot be outrageous to rely on what a police department tells you,” MSNBC attorney Leonard Niehoff argued before the Supreme Court. “If you received it from a responsible governmental source, there should not be a tort action that can be based upon it.”
“I feel injustice has been done to me and my likeness,” Todd told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday. “I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘Hey, I saw you on TV.'”
Todd says his fight isn’t over though his funds have dried up. He has spent tens of thousands of dollars to mount the case against MSNBC and is now asking the public for help in continuing his fight. He’s using GoFundMe to try and raise $100,000 in hopes of taking the case to the federal level.
“I just mainly want my name to be cleared and for them to be held responsible for what they did,” Todd said. “It was never about the money.”
It was not immediately clear where the photo used in MSNBC’s broadcast came from. The picture appears to be a jail booking photo. Todd has had a few previous run-ins with the law and was once charged in connection to a stolen vehicle case.
“Somebody bumbled something,” Todd said of his situation. “They just got away with it by hiring good attorneys.”