People have been asking us all day for our response to the Dave Collins opinion piece in The Day that focused on Todd Lynch and the canines. Here is our response:
It was no surprise to see another one-sided Dave Collins opinion piece that skewed, omitted and frankly appeared to make up some facts (ie, police dogs “often” deploy out of car windows). We didn’t expect Collins to tell the readers a lot about truth of the bite of the little girl and why the dog deployed, nor the investigation into the matter that showed that the canine cars had been without cages and that Lynch as well as other officers repeatedly asked for cages and warned of potential danger. He didn’t tell the readers the recent successful apprehension of a suspect by Lynch and Jasper. We didn’t expect any of that and the pot shots he took were exactly what is expected by polarized desperate media trying to stay relevant. Given the Rolling Stone cover this week that showed an air brushed and glammed up terrorist, we know that the media is pretty desperate these days to sell …what? It isn’t news, since we’ve all got the market on that now. What they try to sell is controversy, and polarized sensationalism is the life blood of that. The fact that he turned his Lynch pot shots into a racial issue in a Travon Martin type pile on was about as far as it seemed it would go.
But there was more and what happened today is far worse: Today’s biggest victim wasn’t Todd Lynch. Today’s victims were in the names, faces, social security numbers, photographs, witnesses, and domestic violence victims of the people contained in the 144 page document of Uniform Arrest Reports provided to Collins supposedly through the standard FOI process. In fact, the very people that Collins is supposedly seeking to protect from the unruly cops were in fact exploited in a shameless effort to cause harm to Lynch and the dogs. The information that was disclosed is not subject to FOI and should not be as it contains personal private and sensitive data that not only is an invasion of privacy for those individuals so effected, but is a disclosure for which any other employer would be required to, at a minimum, (1) alert their insurance carrier; (2) notify each person whose social security number was disclosed. How did this happen? That will be the subject of much investigation and I’m guessing blame shifting and the like. The information was not only disclosed once by the City to Collins, but then again when it was actually posted on The Day’s website. It was not removed until a comment blogger called The Day out on it. Yes, Lynch and the Chief can and will battle it out in the not too distant future before a jury of their peers and in the meantime, people can have whatever opinions they want. We can’t control the slants, but the law controls inappropriate disclosures. The collateral damage that occurred today by way of this thoughtless disclosure of personal information, in a very obvious effort to sway public opinion rather than spark appropriate debate, says much more about The Day, Dave Collins, and the City’s channels which permitted the disclosure than it ever could about Todd Lynch.