Since Saturday, myself and several other people, mostly Photography is Not a Crime readers, have been leaving comments expressing our views on the arrest of Phil Datz, who was more than a block away from the crash investigation when he was arrested on Friday.
None of the comments were vulgar, threatening or otherwise unprofessional.
We just wanted to let them know we are concerned about this type of behavior and that we expect them to take some action.
All they needed to do was say they are aware of the situation and are currently investigating it to give the impression that something is being done (even though it likely isn’t).
The department did tell Newsday they are “reviewing the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Mr. Datz,” but that story is behind a paywall.
I took some screenshots of the last few comments, although I missed the initial comments they deleted. They are posted below.
It’s ironic that most of the content posted on the department’s Facebook page consists of surveillance video footage of suspects they are asking the public to help apprehend.
One person named Rich Lord raised an interesting point that if the Facebook page in maintained by tax dollars, then does it become a First Amendment violation by allowing certain people to leave positive comments, but to delete the not-so-flattering comments from other citizens?
I am interested in hearing what the attorneys out there have to say about that.
Meanwhile, the story is being picked up by several other news agencies.