Albuquerque Journal

APD’s better than tweets


“Keep it profession­al — avoid confrontat­ion.” That’s in the city of Albuquerqu­e’s social media policy. But as we learned last week, the Albuquerqu­e Police Department has its own social media policy, and it’s understand­ably rubbing some folks the wrong way.

Here are some examples of APD tweets: “Your racism aside, we have charged 99 murder suspects this year,” “Calling out your b.s. is public service” and “You only complain and never offer solutions.”

Back in July, after a SWAT standoff in which a 15-yearold boy died after a pepper-spray cannister started a fire, some people blamed police for the boy’s “murder.” In a snide tweet, APD said “didn’t know a fire could murder someone.”

That callous response to a child’s death doesn’t serve our profession­al officers, or the public, well.

Police Chief Harold Medina says APD will continue to “push back” on social media when it comes to people spreading misinforma­tion and cyberbully­ing. Good. But the above comments just throw fuel on the anti-cop fire and appear to come from a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum.

Policing is a serious business, one with life-or-death consequenc­es. And it’s important to get the facts out about what our officers are doing every day to make our city safer. But you can support the badge without belittling the public. Former police officer and City Councilor Pat Davis told KOAT-TV the tweets cross “the line. (T)his isn’t a one-off. This is months of ongoing, ongoing, ongoing in spite of folks … saying, hey, this isn’t representi­ng us well.”

If Chief Medina doesn’t insist his staff keep communicat­ion profession­al, Mayor Tim Keller should.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States