Thursday, September 09, 2010

: Gay Activist Catches NYPD
Shredding Files on the Street

(Ready for shredding: NYPD files sitting on a sidewalk, waiting to be sliced into millions of tiny pieces of unreadable paper. Photo credit: Bill Dobbs, NYT.)

Congratulations are due to my pal and colleague longtime gay, civil liberties and AIDS activist Bill Dobbs, who recent caught New York's (Supposed) Finest shredding some of their files . . . on the street!

I have to admit a large degree of "you've got to be kidding me," when I read this story. A major American city has a mobile paper shredding operation, one that drives around destroying records? Sounds a bit like it's out of a Hollywood movie.

Good for the New York Times and its City Room blog for giving Dobbs' sleuthing the attention it deserves. Let's hope the Times and other news outlets delve further into what exactly the NYPD was shredding when the activist saw the truck on the street.

Excerpted from the Times

Last week, William Dobbs sent us a curious photo of an anomalous-looking vehicle with the telltale markings of the New York Police Department.

Though it “looked more like a moving van than a police vehicle,” according to Mr. Dobbs, who saw it Friday parked on the north side of Spring Street, between Hudson and Greenwich Streets, it turned out to be something we had never heard of: the department’s giant mobile shredder.

The boxes of papers, piled on the sidewalk, “seemed to come out of the loading dock of an old office building which has a front office on Hudson,” said Mr. Dobbs, a civil liberties and gay rights advocate. “There were two guys in the truck’s cab and one working the shredder.”

Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s Chief spokesman, provided a copy of Mr. Dobbs’ photograph, was asked to shed light on it. He answered quickly, and with humor, to the query: “I can shred light on it: It was there to shred N.Y.P.D. documents at that location.” [...]

Hey Bill: Keep up the excellent watchdogging of the police in NYC. There can never be enough citizen-driven oversight of a police department.

1 comment:

Dean Van de Motter said...

Thank you, Michael. I completely agree. Bill Dobbs is a national treasure.