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Dallas PD Uses Twitter To Announce Cop Firings

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the at-least-they're-not-talking-about-their-breakfast dept.

Twitter 118

New submitter natarnsco writes "The Dallas, Texas police chief has used an unusual weapon in his arsenal to announce firings and other disciplinary measures in the Dallas police force: Twitter. 'Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown has fired or disciplined 27 officers and employees in the last year. And every time he brings down the hammer, he announces it on Facebook and Twitter, specifying exactly who the men and women are and what they did. On Dec. 30, it was five officers and a 911 call operator.' The article goes on to say, 'Chief Brown is, as far as we know, unique among police chiefs in his use of social media. "I'm unaware of anyone else doing this," says Lt. Max Geron, who handles media relations at the Dallas Police Department. "If we weren't the first, we were one of the first." We checked out the Twitter profiles of various departments around the country as well and couldn't find a similar situation. The social media posts aren't an official policy of the DPD, but rather a "push for transparency" initiative, in Lt. Geron's words. "[It comes from] a desire to be more transparent and to get our message out to the greater community," he says.'"

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Good PR (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 10 months ago | (#45894353)

Good PR stunt.

Re:Good PR (2)

drater (806171) | about 10 months ago | (#45894373)

Naw, just good.

Re: Good PR (4, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | about 10 months ago | (#45894701)

I'd think good all around. When you live in the less savory parts of town, all you see is police abusing neighbors, and nobody caring. The residents know which cops misbehave, and don't see anybody getting consequences (somebody getting promoted or fired looks the same from your porch where all you know is you don't see them ). This is why when you're in the bad parts of town everybody hates the cops, even the law abiding citizens. This initiative hopefully allows people to see that those in charge do care.

And yes, I am part of the problem, I support politics, and try to spread the word of abuse to colleagues, but I was not about to file actual complaints and get treated like that. As a white person icing with a white teacher, I had police protection rather than abuse even there (we would often complain about problems and have an officer stop by next day to talk about it, even though the far more upstanding black neighbors would complain for weeks and nobody so of care ).

The Thin Bottom Line (1, Troll)

MarkvW (1037596) | about 10 months ago | (#45894365)

This is what happens when you let the lawyers run the show.

Re:The Thin Bottom Line (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894529)

Care to elaborate?

I once worked with a police union lawyer before. There are a lot of stupid cops out there, but there are equally a lot of cops who get steamrolled by their chief. For example, maybe the chief wants to reduce his budget. He'll lie about some conduct just so he can fire a cop, ruining that cops career. Or maybe the chief or some other cop wants to retaliate against another cop for being too honest, or maybe just for being female or gay; they'll lie about some behavior to get the other cop fired or disciplined. Insane stuff like this happens all the time, because a lot of cops enter the police force young, and they never grow up.

If a cop truly did something wrong, then usually there'll be evidence of it. If there's evidence, a lawyer can't get the employee off. At best he can beg the review committee for mercy, but they're under no obligation to do so.

Re:The Thin Bottom Line (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 10 months ago | (#45894849)

Care to elaborate?

The P&P Manual aka Policy and Procedures. Where the manual, isn't so much a book, but an entire encyclopedia. Ahh TPS, sitting at 14 volumes, each volume is 600+ pages.

Re:The Thin Bottom Line (3, Insightful)

SacredNaCl (545593) | about 10 months ago | (#45895445)

Care to elaborate?

I once worked with a police union lawyer before. There are a lot of stupid cops out there, but there are equally a lot of cops who get steamrolled by their chief. For example, maybe the chief wants to reduce his budget. He'll lie about some conduct just so he can fire a cop, ruining that cops career. Or maybe the chief or some other cop wants to retaliate against another cop for being too honest, or maybe just for being female or gay; they'll lie about some behavior to get the other cop fired or disciplined. Insane stuff like this happens all the time, because a lot of cops enter the police force young, and they never grow up.

If a cop truly did something wrong, then usually there'll be evidence of it. If there's evidence, a lawyer can't get the employee off. At best he can beg the review committee for mercy, but they're under no obligation to do so.

I have witnessed a good officer let go for what I would consider an unjust cause. The officer in question didn't get with the new commanders special forces background, and wasn't hip to the SWAT style tactics that he brought with him. He was the kind of officer that used conversation to defuse dangerous situations rather than force. He was decorated twice for doing just that, defusing two hostage standoffs at great personal risk. The new boss took a minor complaint and went hog wild with it even though he knew there was never any racial animus in the officer. The police officer had no trouble finding another job with another department, but they let him go just before he became eligible for a better pension at retirement.

Re:The Thin Bottom Line (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 10 months ago | (#45895537)

Let's just pontificate based purely on our own experience. Surely everyone has had an average life, average education, and average interaction with police. Therefore, we are on the same ground, and grant your experience the same as fable, and the same as our full of shit neighbor.
Or, perhaps your experience is less or more than normal.
Either way, no one should draw any conclusion on what you say, it serves at best as a data point.

Re:The Thin Bottom Line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45896933)

Usually it's the opposite: an officer does something that is flat out wrong - even criminal - and they are allowed to resign so they can move to another agency. I am ok with outing them publicly and getting them off the streets and out of law enforcement.

I am not a LEO, but I work closely with them and have seen the passing of bad cops from agency to agency for decades. This may put a stop to it, and if it does, GOOD.

Re:The Thin Bottom Line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897815)

What you've just described if horrifying. If that's really how cops treat each other, then normal people should be very afraid of the police.

Re:The Thin Bottom Line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894609)

This is what happens when you let the lawyers run the show.

I'm sorry, but if lawyers were running the show, the LAST thing one would expect would be more transparency.

Re:The Thin Bottom Line (2)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 10 months ago | (#45894871)

I'm sorry, but if lawyers were running the show, the LAST thing one would expect would be more transparency.

Unless the lawyers happen to be running the show at a gentlemen's club. (Are you tipping?)

Aren't these private websites? (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 10 months ago | (#45894367)

I'm not a member of either and do not get his tweets or posts, so how is this a 'push for transparency'?

Re:Aren't these private websites? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894401)

There's no state run media to publish in you know. What's the difference between going to the privately owned news paper or news station? And although I haven't checked, I'd be willing to bet that it's on the Dallas police website too.

I'm not a member of either and do not get his tweets or posts

Things aren't done only to serve you, you know. Many more do use those sites and most of those would not have otherwise known.

But by all means, please continue trying to karma whore by posting nonsensical objections based solely on the fact that it mentions social media sites that are unpopular here.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894549)

There's no state run media to publish in you know.

OK, so you state the problem and then go off on a tangent for two or three paragraphs.

In reality, there is an elite-run media, but they pretend to be competing. It'd be more honest to just have a state run news service - at least it'd have some democratic oversight.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 10 months ago | (#45895161)

And I'm sure it'd be as fair and balanced as any propaganda outlet.. I don't think we'd see anything resembling objections to the NSA spying if people got their news from the government. As blatantly biased as the likes of CNN and FOX News are, I'll take them over a state run propaganda wing.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45896757)

Is there a newspaper of record for where you live? You remember newspapers. They are like web sites that you print out.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#45894441)

I'm not a member of either and do not get his tweets or posts, so how is this a 'push for transparency'?

Not everyone subscribes to local newspapers, either; however, posting a public notice in one of them, to television, or other privately owned publicly accessible media, still counts as public notice, for example: for the purpose of substituted service (Service of process by publication, when an individual cannot be located) --- certain kinds of legal proceedings requiring that Public notice be given -- public notice before issuing broadcast or liquor licenses, public notices of important government meetings where the public is required to be able to comment upon, public notices for foreclosures, estate actions, probate.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 10 months ago | (#45894709)

Not everyone subscribes to local newspapers...

You don't have to subscribe to get a newspaper. Anyone can simply (and anonymously) purchase a newspaper. Facebook, twitter, whatever, it's the same as if he posted a bulletin at the local Freemason lodge, and they made copies and posted it at every lodge in the world. If you're not a member, you don't get that 'news'.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 10 months ago | (#45894863)

And you can view Twitter without an account (maybe Facebook? I think you could the last time I used it, nearly two years ago).

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

Known Nutter (988758) | about 10 months ago | (#45894865)

You don't have to subscribe to get a newspaper. Anyone can simply (and anonymously) purchase a newspaper. Facebook, twitter, whatever, it's the same as if he posted a bulletin at the local Freemason lodge, and they made copies and posted it at every lodge in the world. If you're not a member, you don't get that 'news'.

I'm not a member of twitter. I'm not a member of Facebook. Not that it matters, but I'm not a member of the Freemasons, either.

I got the news.

Like it or not, and I'm pretty sure I don't, social media is (has?) becoming as ubiquitous as a newspaper and allows a police department (or anyone else) a voice that traditional media can pick up on, as has happened in this story. So, I wouldn't agree that a police chief posting to the department's official twitter and facebook is "the same as" a posting in a Freemason lodge bulletin board.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

TWX (665546) | about 10 months ago | (#45895233)

The barrier to legally have notified the community is very, very small. In my area there's a privately-owned weekly newspaper that serves the small local Orthodox Jewish community that is very frequently used for when organizations have to formally notify the public of corporation paperwork filings and other official changes, and the vast majority of those paid announcements are not made by members of that local Orthodox Jewish community. It happens that the circulation is considered high enough to meet the minimum criteria for a public notice, the prices for the notices are low, and the paper makes it easy to buy the public notice space.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894897)

You really know nothing about twitter. You don't have to have any account just to read public posts. The better analogy is that public posts on twitter are like posting a flyer on the bulletin board in the public square, except you're posting it in every city, and anyone with an internet connection can drive there instantly to read whatever they want. You can use your analogy and tweak it, where really, if you join the freemasons lodge, they'll poll the bulletin boards around town that you told them to and compile it into a custom newspaper for you that they have sitting in your mailbox at the lodge. You can still go and read any of them without joining, they just as a member benefit compile things for you.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895287)

The better analogy is that public posts on twitter are like posting a flyer on the bulletin board in the public square

A private bulletin board facing the public square, on the side of some business. The business at any time can take it down or cover it up. But that doesn't matter anyway, since the point is to get the news out, not archive it via twitter. If polices change, they can change where it is posted.

Re: Aren't these private websites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894955)

You don't need a login (or invite, or to be a member) to read public tweets, so you can just sit down and stop talking and let the adults have a conversation.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#45896691)

You don't have to subscribe to get a newspaper. Anyone can simply (and anonymously) purchase a newspaper.

That might be true for some newspapers -- but even if the newspaper required showing an ID to be logged in a database, in order to purchase without a regular subscription: it would still count as a public notice, as long as enough people in the community were buying it.

If you're not a member, you don't get that 'news

Anyone with access to an internet connection can freely become a "member" of Twitter. Which is sufficient. It is not required to provide anonymous access, for Public notices, records, and documentation, to be officiallyl recognized as public notices, records, documentation, etc.

In fact, to view public records at a courthouse, in general You have to show ID, and possibly sign a log.

Also; in general, you do not need to signup for membership on Twitter just to view or search tweets, aside from tweets from "private" (restricted) users. You only need a "membership" to use mobile devices, to send your own messages, or to use the convenient "follow" action --- to get notification of another user's tweets.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (2)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 10 months ago | (#45894547)

It doesn't matter if it is a "push for transparency", just whether or not it sounds like it is in a TV commercial or political pamphlet when he runs for whatever office he clearly has in mind.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

koan (80826) | about 10 months ago | (#45894633)

How is it not?

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 10 months ago | (#45894727)

How is it not?

Slashdot is a "public" website, in that anyone can come and see all of the posts. But suppose that they changed it. Suppose that when you went to slashdot.org, you are immediately confronted with a login page (just like facebook), and you have to have credentials in order to see the posts. That's how not.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894761)

Suppose that the newspaper editor put the announcement on page 17 in size 3 font (which you have to buy, BTW). Suppose that the town crier has a cold and can't shout the message.

There is no such things as transparency by your paranoid definition.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (-1, Troll)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 10 months ago | (#45894793)

AC vagina!

Public = walk right in, (maybe pay some money) see everything
Private = Prove membership (then see "Public" above)

Oh fuck I'm arguing with a 14-yo AC again, oh lawd I need to go to sleep...

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 10 months ago | (#45895185)

Unless setup otherwise you can view a feed on twitter without an account.. the same is actually true of facebook. I think the bigger story would be if the Dallas PC had his account hidden, and not public.

No public means of notification have 100% coverage.. but I'd bet more people in the U.S. check their facebook page daily than watch the evening news.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895303)

So by your own definitions twitter is public then? That directly contradicts your rhetorical question in your original post.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (3, Insightful)

Known Nutter (988758) | about 10 months ago | (#45894909)

you are immediately confronted with a login page (just like facebook), and you have to have credentials in order to see the posts

But that's not what has happened in this case. DPD's Facebook page is public and viewable without being logged into Facebook, as are the details of each officer's discipline posted on Facebook [facebook.com] .

Re:Aren't these private websites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895487)

Well if the accounts are true and a fair representation of what those cops did, then I'd say most of the actions seem justified.

#1 might be a bit harsh to me, but many view DWI really seriously no matter what the "BAC" is.

The rest of the sacked cops are those you wouldn't want involved in arresting or pointing guns at you. The one demoted was a senior and setting a bad example to a recruit.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45896581)

I don't see how you've answered my question to your OP.

"I'm not a member of either and do not get his tweets or posts, so how is this a 'push for transparency'?"

"Slashdot is a "public" website, in that anyone can come and see all of the posts. But suppose that they changed it. Suppose that when you went to slashdot.org, you are immediately confronted with a login page (just like facebook), and you have to have credentials in order to see the posts. That's how not."

So... what?

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | about 10 months ago | (#45897233)

I think his argument is that because Facebook or Twitter could at any time delete the posts/tweets, therefore it isn't transparent. Where with a physical newspaper once it is printed you can't unprint it.

I personally think he is missing the point. The point of this is presumably not to make a permanent, archived record, but more to make the information available in a way that is accessible to many. It also isn't the same as a public notice which is generally trying to ensure a good proportion of the constituency receives the information. The point is to make the information easily accessible, not to ensure that it does get accessed.

A newspaper is just as free to stop distributing old editions, and it likely isn't too difficult, but also not super easy to get a copy of a three year old newspaper from the newspaper itself (i.e. it likely involves at least a phone call and some cost to have it reprinted from the archives or whatever they do).

The more important signal here is to indicate to the public that police officers no longer have carte blanche to do whatever they want and rely on the protection of the police force to cover it up. The majority of the police officers who are working hard to do their jobs well and be upstanding citizens don't have to worry about wearing the reputation of the few jackasses that are doing stupid stuff and not facing any consequences.

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 10 months ago | (#45894695)

As opposed to something like Pravda?

Re:Aren't these private websites? (1)

Arker (91948) | about 10 months ago | (#45897677)

They are and this is the one thing he is clearly doing wrong here.

He has an official website provided by the tax payers and accessible to all. That's where this should be posted. Not on a pseudo-random private web site that is going to try to 'monetize' anyone that shows up looking for the information.

Unlikely to last (5, Insightful)

ERJ (600451) | about 10 months ago | (#45894375)

Although I do think it is a good thing in that it helps strengthen the community support and trust of the police department I have a feeling that it will end at some point in the near future with a lawsuit....maybe I am just jaded but there is a reason that corporations tend to keep these details silent and have created the (poor in my opinion) rules around providing only the minimal amount of employment information after an employee is let go.

Re:Unlikely to last (4, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about 10 months ago | (#45894415)

The department isn't a corporation and they are public employees. The time for police to keep things behind closed doors has long since passed.

Re:Unlikely to last (1)

ERJ (600451) | about 10 months ago | (#45894451)

No, but the department can be sued like a corporation can.

Like I said, I think it is a good thing but that doesn't mean it won't fall to the lawyers.

Re:Unlikely to last (4, Interesting)

Scutter (18425) | about 10 months ago | (#45894473)

I'm more concerned with the amount of criminal activity listed in the spreadsheet. These are just the ones that have been caught.

Re:Unlikely to last (2)

TWX (665546) | about 10 months ago | (#45895301)

No, but the department can be sued like a corporation can.

Like I said, I think it is a good thing but that doesn't mean it won't fall to the lawyers.

Even more importantly, depending on how a given state has written their rules on employment and privacy, this kind of thing might be quite illegal in some places, and given specifically that this is the police and an arm of the state, an actual prosecution and conviction might be required for them to assert that anything at all publicly-disclosable has happened.

Slander and libel laws might also apply, especially if there are disputes in the events that led to the dismissals, and moreso if the fired staff member is later vindicated and can demonstrate that the statements made by the employer prevented them from finding work elsewhere. Lots of employers, when called to confirm that someone had worked there, will give little more than a factual statement that the person worked there and the range of time in which they did.

I'm certainly not going to dispute that it's important for employers to stop retaining employees that are actively bad, and doubly so for law enforcement employees, but should something like this backfire on the department then it could not only mean trouble with the employee in question, but trouble disciplining future employees.

Re:Unlikely to last (3, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#45894481)

Although I do think it is a good thing in that it helps strengthen the community support and trust of the police department I have a feeling that it will end at some point in the near future with a lawsuit

This is possible... and the Police chief may be found in the wrong, if he isn't very careful about what representations he makes in public. There could later be made a claim of libelous defamation -- particularly if the twitter messages imply the target for action was affirmatively guilty, and not "Dismissed under suspicion or allegation of X".

Re:Unlikely to last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894853)

If a cop was late for work 5 times and the chief fires him and puts out a tweet that he was fired because he was an alcoholic than yes. If there was enough evidence to backup firing him for being late, I see no risk in letting people know that you fired him for being late. People get fired for blatantly obvious things all the time. I am all about transparency for police officers. Power like that can and does go crazy when it is unchecked.

That being said, I work for a large law firm, when someone quits, downsized, fired, etc. The firm says nothing other then they are no longer employed here. Even when people call to inquire or verify employment of a previous employee, they can and do only give the dates that person worked here and verify the official position they had, no opinions of the person, no reason for why they no longer work here, not how much they made for salary or bonuses, no telling them we would never hire that stupid fuck back again because we caught him stealing peoples lunch from refrigerator. Nothing like that. Yes John Doe worked here, from 1/2006 until 10/2013 and his title was network administrator. He no longer works here.

Re:Unlikely to last (1)

troll -1 (956834) | about 10 months ago | (#45894495)

I have a feeling that it will end at some point in the near future with a lawsuit....

But cops make press announcements all the time. What the diff? This is just a new meduim.

Re:Unlikely to last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895463)

it's a difference between "there was a fire in the local mall and we made arrests for arson, trial next tuesday" and "troll-1 laid fire to the mall (we suspect)". The last one taints you forever, even if you were innocent.
Once someone is convicted by court giving the name might(!) be OK, but simply because of a discliplinarian cause without "real" tests (the pd chief could make things up, you know...) is NOT OK. In my opinion.

Re:Unlikely to last (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 10 months ago | (#45895967)

Are you really trying to say that the police never release the name of a person arrested on suspicion of committing a crime?

Or are you saying that two wrongs don't make a right?

No but Two Wongs make it White!! (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 10 months ago | (#45897177)

anywho any Police Blotter type thing needs to be worded very carefully (and i would have a list of folks that were CLEARED also published)

Re:Unlikely to last (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 10 months ago | (#45895325)

The "rules around providing only the minimal amount of employment information after an employee is let go" are not a benefit to corporations. They are in fact a hindrance as they make it more difficult to weed out bad employment candidates.

These rules came about due to libel litigation brought forth by publicly fired employees. Most companies would rather say nothing that risk a day in court, and the expenses involved.

Re:Unlikely to last (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about 10 months ago | (#45898263)

This is why most applications have "May we contact this supervisor", if you put no they assume you left on gad terms

As it should be... (4, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | about 10 months ago | (#45894391)

I agree with Forty Two Tenfold. It's good PR Stunt.

If cops are canned for disciplinary reasons, they should be called out in public. Good for the chief here.

Re:As it should be... (1)

gnoshi (314933) | about 10 months ago | (#45894511)

So what would differentiate a 'good PR stunt' from 'good transparency practices'?

If that police department engages in other anti-transparency behaviour which indicate that any apparent transparency efforts are actually cynical PR smokescreens then sure, calling this a PR stunt is a reasonable. However, if the PD is not engaged in other anti-transparency behaviour, and this particular effort to be more transparent is dismissed out of hand as cynical PR activity then it doesn't encourage others to follow suit.

Re:As it should be... (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | about 10 months ago | (#45894951)

They are public servants and should have to answer to public scrutiny.

Good start (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894403)

Get rid if your SWAT department, tanks, and machine guns next.

Re:Good start (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 10 months ago | (#45895251)

Though a need for tanks is pretty dubious... Any city of over a million residents should probably have a SWAT department, as well as this department having trained snipers and machine guns. It's the extend of this that becomes a problem when you have x% of the population as police, and y% of the police carrying assault weapons regularly.

Afaik, most of the tanks police departments have do not have large caliber gun turrets and are mainly used as mobile barriers in practice... All of that said, I would feel much better if police were less inclined to reach for their weapons as often, the use of tazers in particular has probably done far more harm in every major U.S. city than all of the tanks of all the PDs of the US combined.

Re:Good start (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 10 months ago | (#45895355)

And the criminals will be better armed than the police.

Calling what SWAT units have as tanks is misleading. The heaviest vehicles I have seen are like this. These are armored personnel carriers (APCs) and not tanks. Notice no main gun or even heavy armament. [wikipedia.org]

(I wonder if I fed the troll; It is hard to tell now a days)

That explains it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894407)

So now we know what cops are doing when they don't respond to 911 calls. But seriously, twitter and facebook? Were these private messages at least, or open for all the world to see? Kinda like the guy who calls the whole office together to fire you in front of everybody, instead of calling you into the office and dealing with you there. What a douche.

Re:That explains it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895115)

Kinda like the guy who calls the whole office together to fire you in front of everybody, instead of calling you into the office and dealing with you there. What a douche.

Calling me into the office for some shady "downsizing" crap? Fuck that noise, I want everyone there (including my union rep) to witness any bullshit sandwiches being served up.

Is that suitable? (5, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | about 10 months ago | (#45894425)

If it would end up in the newspaper, fine. Otherwise it could be considered a form of public humiliation.

It also runs contrary to the old rule of praise in public, discipline in private. (Subject to transparency requirements.)

I certainly hope that they aren't finding out after the news goes out.

I wonder how often those tweets will have to be eaten? Tweet in haste, repent at leisure.

Re:Is that suitable? (1)

koan (80826) | about 10 months ago | (#45894647)

Well look at how many got canned or disciplined, it seems to me making it public keeps them in line, and who the hell reads a newspaper?

Oh you mean on a tablet or something right? Right next to Twitter.

Re:Is that suitable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895431)

well, in my country the pillory was abandoned quite a while ago (was extremely rare even in the 1800s).

If you insist modern forms of it to be "normal" - well, one more reason, I'd never want to live in the USA.

(another AC than the GP, btw)

Re:Is that suitable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895483)

oops, wrong part reply :-)

Re:Is that suitable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895059)

If it would end up in the newspaper, fine. Otherwise it could be considered a form of public humiliation.

Funny. I thought a major point of putting any such details in the newspaper was because it was a form of public humiliation. You know, so the public can see that public official is being adequately chastised for their wrongdoing.

It also runs contrary to the old rule of praise in public, discipline in private. (Subject to transparency requirements.)

"The old rule"? Yea, uh, that's a crappy rule.

I certainly hope that they aren't finding out after the news goes out.

Well, yes, it should go without question that the person should hear it first from their boss and not from the newspaper or a public tweet or whatever. But, that's basically a disconnected fact.

I wonder how often those tweets will have to be eaten? Tweet in haste, repent at leisure.

I have no idea what you're saying, here, except perhaps some worry that they'll have to issue retractions in the future. Well, newspapers do it all the time, and we don't pay much mind to that point. So, I don't see a big deal as long as the Dallas PD is prompt about it when necessary, with "prompt" being relatively the speed of the ability to issue a retraction.

Re:Is that suitable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895271)

When the public has suffered for decades under policies of "praise in public, never discipline," it's important to make sure they know criminals and murderers actually are being disciplined, even lightly.

Re:Is that suitable? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 10 months ago | (#45897529)

Cops who abuse their power deserve public humiliation, and prison.

Welcome (2)

troll -1 (956834) | about 10 months ago | (#45894519)

The new perp walk.

NYC 100+ NYPD Scum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894559)

20 and more year ago these thing were never talked about nor discussed at all outside an "inner circle."

Then, the pervert could hide in anonymity with complete confidence of not being "outed."

The Pervert and Layer would "play" court and legal state and local bureaucracy and win.

Now, the Pervert has no where to hide, even if the Pervert if Barak Hussein Obama Kenyan President of the United States of America.

Let the National Security Council, FBI and Secret Service digest that!

Ahhh more evidence of militerized police. (2)

koan (80826) | about 10 months ago | (#45894619)

"I have terminated SC Amy Wilburn today for firing her weapon upon an unarmed person without fear or justification."

Cops where I live are getting scary, the young cops especially.
At the local range I got ~70% of banned names on the board of shame are cops.

Re:Ahhh more evidence of militerized police. (1)

koan (80826) | about 10 months ago | (#45894657)

Should be "At the local range I go to", anyway you know when it's a cop shooting, they always exceed the 1 second rule and are general asshats.

Re:Ahhh more evidence of militerized police. (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | about 10 months ago | (#45894813)

Should be "At the local range I go to", anyway you know when it's a cop shooting, they always exceed the 1 second rule and are general asshats.

Sorry, but what's the one second rule?

As to the tweets, it might be better if his accompanying photo didn't show him smiling as he offed all these people.

Re:Ahhh more evidence of militerized police. (3, Interesting)

Indy1 (99447) | about 10 months ago | (#45894839)

my guess, the one second rule is "no more then 1 shot fired per second"

Many inexperienced shooters try to fire too quickly (and not fully in control), and hit things they shouldnt, like target holders, other peoples targets, etc.

Personally I hate rules like that, as it interferes with many of my drills, but I'm also a competition handgun shooter, so I've got a little more experience with controlled double taps, Mozambique drills, etc, compared to the average joe.

Re:Ahhh more evidence of militerized police. (1)

koan (80826) | about 10 months ago | (#45896627)

They have places for you to go though, IDPA ranges, or pods, generally 6 meter high 180 degree coverage dirt berms where you can quick draw and rapid fire.
On a public range full of idiots it's the last thing you want.
And the rule is strictly enforced, so it's usually the cops scoffing at the rules in these places.
Personally, I feel I'm more competent with my weapon than any cop I have met.

Re:Ahhh more evidence of militerized police. (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 10 months ago | (#45897755)

so it's usually the cops scoffing at the rules in these places.

So no different than network admins and programmers who scoff at security rules in a workplace.

Re: Ahhh more evidence of militerized police. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898333)

Do people get shot when that happens.

Re: Ahhh more evidence of militerized police. (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 10 months ago | (#45898791)

I wish. Instead they're coddled and some bullshit explanation for why they should be allowed to violate basic security is trotted out.

Once more liberals interested in things ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894659)

only when convenient.

If the cops tweeted out the names of people arrested for crimes they would go ballistic.
But cops aren't worthy of the same due process.

If some employee at a big business tweeted out names of employees fired, or some Target worker tweeted out people who were arrested for shoplifting in Target, they would be fired. So should David O. Brown.

Re:Once more liberals interested in things ... (3, Insightful)

JeffAtl (1737988) | about 10 months ago | (#45894851)

If the cops tweeted out the names of people arrested for crimes they would go ballistic.

Police departments have been publishing photos and names of people arrested on their websites for years. How could you not know this?

Regardless, cops actually get preferential treatment when it comes to due process as it is almost impossible to find a prosecutor that will try to convict a cop - especially not in the same jurisdiction. Even if cops are caught with overwhelming evidence of criminal acts, the usually face firing where non-cops would face years in prison.

Re:Once more liberals interested in things ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895437)

well, in my country the pillory was abandoned quite a while ago (was extremely rare even in the 1800s).

If you insist modern forms of it to be "normal" - and yes, "public shaming" on websites, twitter etc. are this, even more so because it will never be truly deleted - well, one more reason I'd never want to live in the USA.

(another AC than the GP, btw)

Re:Once more liberals interested in things ... (1)

JeffAtl (1737988) | about 10 months ago | (#45895479)

Not really sure what point you're trying to make.

I'm am certainly not in favor of "public shaming", but if it is good enough for non-cops, then cops should be subject to it as well.

Re:Once more liberals interested in things ... (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 10 months ago | (#45898223)

There's a difference in buried in a pd's website vs logging into twitter and seeing it listed in the quick search.

Re:Once more liberals interested in things ... (1)

JeffAtl (1737988) | about 10 months ago | (#45898397)

They names of photos of those arrested aren't "buried" on a department's website.

Police departments also provide the information and photos for newspapers to use in their "police blotter" sections. The newspapers make these available online - just like twitter.

Regardless, cops have always argued against any expectation of privacy.

Dallas Police Massaged Crime Statistics (2)

Nova Express (100383) | about 10 months ago | (#45894755)

Interesting, because the Dallas Police Department was accused of massaging the crime statistics [battleswarmblog.com] back when Tom Leppert was Mayor. /Note: I'm part of the vast right wing conspiracy, but those charges were leveled by a columnist for the the left-wing Dallas Observer.

It's one thing to worry about losing your job (1)

LookIntoTheFuture (3480731) | about 10 months ago | (#45894765)

add public humiliation and well... dead suspects tell no tales.

On Twitter? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 10 months ago | (#45894873)

"This little piggy went 'waah waah waah' all the way home #firedanotherone"?

two sides to this coin (1)

SeanBlader (1354199) | about 10 months ago | (#45894927)

As a citizen this is kind of nice to see any LEO Agency making an effort to be open about their practices. On the other hand though this is some very bad way for a boss to treat his employees, it's bad enough to get yelled at in the office, let alone to get it broadcasted to the world.

Re:two sides to this coin (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | about 10 months ago | (#45897311)

The top of the facebook post says "Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown disciplined the following officers during hearings this morning.".

This isn't just about a boss disciplining his employees. This seems to be posting the results of police disciplinary hearings.

There is a difference between yelled at for making mistakes at your job and being involved in a disciplinary hearing.

Re:two sides to this coin (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | about 10 months ago | (#45897431)

Also, as I searched a bit, there is precedent for making this information publicly available. If you look at http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cpb/auto_generated/police_discipline_archives.html [cityofchicago.org] you will find the equivalent information from the Chicago Police Department - a record of findings and decisions made by the Chicago Police board with respect to police discipline.

So what is new here is not the fact that this information is being made publicly available (it already has, if not in Dallas, in other jurisdictions), but that the information is being made public via Facebook and Twitter.

Re:two sides to this coin (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 10 months ago | (#45897989)

That's a huge difference, how many people even in Chicago know of that particular page vs how many people got an update from #CopsBusted.

This is about like your spouse catching you cheating and renting a billboard and plastering your image on it with huge letters saying "CHEATER or ADULTERER" vs buying local tv airtime to post same over a few of your local cable channels, which would you rather have?

Re:two sides to this coin (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 10 months ago | (#45898011)

Also given that when a prospective employer calls your present or a former employer those old employers can only say "Yes x worked here" they can't by law go into detail about your work habits. How can the PD do it?

Don't get me wrong, I fully understand and support transparency and accountability in our public servants, but I know I sure as hell wouldn't want every one of my write ups from my employers made public forever online.

Re:two sides to this coin (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | about 10 months ago | (#45898491)

"Also given that when a prospective employer calls your present or a former employer those old employers can only say "Yes x worked here" they can't by law go into detail about your work habits."

Is there actually such a law? My understanding was that the general practice is more a safeguard against litigation happy employees filing defamation lawsuits. What's different here is that these are the results of disciplinary hearings where evidence has been presented and a decision has been made. i.e. the information is vetted and is probably less likely to contain false/inaccurate information.

I totally agree on the write ups from employers, and as such I really hope/assume that these sorts of things are reserved for rather more egregious cases (such as unwarranted police violence, corruption, etc).

Twitter War with the Dallas Morning News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895567)

He's already gotten into a mild argument with the Dallas Morning News over Twitter:

http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2014/01/dallas_police_chief_david_brow_1.php

Why do we need police at all then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45895579)

This is a spectacular idea!

Apparently this waste of skin believes that his job should be reduced to that of the town militia in medieval times where the stocks were used as punishment for crimes not warranting death (which was most of the serious ones). If he is intending to use the modern equivalent of the stocks, why not eliminate him and his job altogether and go back to using a militia?

OR, this could just be yet another way for employers to look for ways to fuck over the employees who have become so lazy, complacent and timid that they have given away all their rights in two decades that took the previous two generations to build.

Nice bit of sensationalism in the article (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#45895767)

Officer Laura Martin was not fired but promoted this year. Here she is, standing bravely alongside Dallas Police Chief David Brown. But do you see fear behind her eyes?

No, no I don't.

This is where we're headed (3, Interesting)

MindPrison (864299) | about 10 months ago | (#45896215)

Unfortunately, this is the current trend. While it may sound like a PR stunt, this is actually quite tragic. Why? Because it just shows us how FAR we've gotten into total surveillance. Sure, it could be nice to know that a cop is dirty and WHO that cop is, but many are fired for other reasons and this could potentially destroy the individuals future. Say - the cop was actually innocent, he's a human and not just another cop. Now, he'll have a hard time supporting his family because no one wants to hire someone busted on the job. The price we pay for knowing everything about everyone, will one day become too expensive, and I fear - it already is.

Re:This is where we're headed (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 10 months ago | (#45898501)

I'm glad to see so many comments like this for this story. I was expecting a lot of anti-establishment "fuck the police" sentiment, but I'm pleasantly surprised to see that the rights of privacy that everyone expects for themselves also apply to policemen. I don't like seeing police getting away with shooting innocent people because they don't like the colour of their skin, but this is too much of an overreaction.

Slightly Impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45897109)

Color me impressed, a police chief who wants to actually hold his deputies at least slightly accountable. Its at least a start, but real change won't happen until officers are charged and convicted for any crimes they might commit while on duty. Its not acceptable for your average person to get away with shooting an unarmed teenager or chucking a woman face first into a concrete ledge so why is it so often the case with officers?

Legality of this? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 10 months ago | (#45897925)

Isn't this illegal? I mean I understand the public holding police to a higher standard than private or even public companies, but let's say one of those companies did the same to an employee, isn't there grounds for a lawsuit even if there was a disciplinary action taken against the employee? If the answer is yes, then how come the employees for the PD are being exposed via public medium for their transgressions?
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