Officers' Personal Data Is Showing Up Online

Homeland Security warns leaks could put police at risk
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 10, 2020 5:54 PM CDT
Leakers Post Personal Data of Officers and Families Online
A Louisville police watches protesters downtown on May 31.   (Max Gersh/The Courier Journal via AP)

Personal information of police officers nationwide is being leaked online amid tense interactions at demonstrations across the US over the police custody death of George Floyd and others, according to an unclassified intelligence document from the Department of Homeland Security, obtained by the AP. The document warns that the effort, known as "doxxing," could lead to attacks by "violent opportunists or domestic violent extremists" or could prevent law enforcement officials from carrying out their duties. High-ranking police officials in a number of cities—including Washington, Atlanta, Boston and New York—have had their personal information shared on social media, including their home addresses, email addresses and phone numbers, the report warns. "At least one of the police commissioners was targeted for his alleged support of the use of tear gas to disperse protests," it says.

Police officials nationwide have said they feel caught in the middle, trying to stop violent protests while abandoned by lawmakers in the demand for police changes. Some said they fear for their lives. "We’ve been vilified. It's disgusting," New York State police union official Mike O’Meara said as state lawmakers repealed a law that keeps police records secret. Federal officials identified posts that include specific personal information of law enforcement officers in Kentucky and included a link to a website with their full names, the names of their family members, home addresses, specific information about the vehicles they drive and online account login information, the report says. It was in Kentucky that a 26-year-old EMT, Breonna Taylor, was killed by police in her home in March. The personal information of an officer from San Jose, California, and his family was also posted online in a post that called for others to "do with this information what you will," the report said. (Twitter stepped in over a police union post with personal data.)

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