Saturday, March 16, 2019
KANSAS CITY POLICE CONFRONT CRIME FIGHTER ALONZO WASHINGTON OVER NAMING HOMICIDE VICTIMS: CENSORSHIP OR FREEDOM ON INFORMATION?!?!
Here's the situation:
Alonzo Washington has garnered a massive social media network of fans, friends and fellow tipsters who want to help share info in the fight against KCMO crime.
As breaking news occurs, Mr. Washington shares the deets in real time and isn't afraid to name names.
However, here's a recent exchange that merits mention.
This week police chided Mr. Washington for his social media sharing:
"Please wait until police release the name of the victims in homicide cases before you share them. Police will not name victims until family members have been notified. No family member should have to learn of their loved one's death on social media"
Mr. Washington's most poignant response in several FB messages about the case . . .
"KCPD has time to tweet me about the content of my tweets. THE VICTIM was killed near 53rd and Swope Parkway last night. The news did Not cover it much or show the victim’s picture. I’m doing it to try to get tips in the case."
A few things to consider . . .
Rules on naming homicides victims are not policy or law but custom and have evolved because media companies have been sued for causing emotional distress in their broadcasts So far, the case law on social media is vague and offers little direction.
It's always important to monitor law enforcement giving directives on social media use.
Public support from his tipster network seems to favor Mr. Washington and he has vowed to keep his followers informed.
The important fact to remember in all of this is that both KCPD & Alonzo Washington encourage locals to come forward and share info in the fight against KCMO crime as the homicide count continues to spike.
Developing . . .