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Queens Chronicle

Handcuffing the press

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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

(An open letter to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly)

On behalf of the New York Press Club, I strongly protest NYPD’s latest decision to cut off a long-standing source of information, vital to New Yorkers.

The policy change to deny media access to complaint reports at the precinct level is, to us, another example of blatant hostility by NYPD toward locally based media outlets that disseminate information about neighborhood occurrences to residents of those neighborhoods. We are stumped by the question of why NYPD now requires community reporters to scurry down to the notoriously uncommunicative and uncooperative DCPI office to examine incident reports that originate locally. One inescapable conclusion about the new policy is that NYPD wishes to “edit” or otherwise obfuscate the information in question. At the very least, the policy unnecessarily complicates public access to information and data that should instead be freely available.

This new restriction on openness and accessibility is, in our opinion, another disturbing example of the department’s recent, relentless slide towards non-accountability. We therefore request an explanation of the change for publication. Thank you.

The writer is a resident of Queens.

Editor’s note: The policy was modified Tuesday, according to The Nabe, an online media outlet.

Larry Seary
President, The New York Press Club
Manhattan

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