Union Complains About Dallas Police Chief's Twitter Posts

Jan 9, 2014
Originally published on January 10, 2014 10:21 am
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In Dallas, the city's police chief likes to post things on Twitter - like the names of the officers and other employees he has recently fired. It all started as an effort to increase transparency.

But as Lauren Silverman from member station KERA's reports, the police officers union is now complaining about the practice, saying the chief has crossed the line.

LAURA SILVERMAN, BYLINE: On New Year's Eve, Dallas Police Chief David Brown used Twitter to announce the firing of five police officers calling each one out by name. In one tweet, he said an officer was sacked for public intoxication, damaging a person's property, and making offensive contact with a person.

CHRIS LIVINGSTON: Pandering to the public and to the media is what this is.

SILVERMAN: Chris Livingston is a private attorney for the Dallas Police Association. He says what Brown is doing is unprecedented and dangerous.

LIVINGSTON: He's not going ahead and taking the time, learning all of the facts and conducting a thorough investigation.

SILVERMAN: Livingston says it's standard practice to bring cases before a grand jury, instead, Brown is shouting out his decisions to 5,000 followers. And while the termination tweets have been clean so far, last week, Brown spiced up his feed with several swear words.

LIVINGSTON: His use of Twitter has, in some ways, violated the social media policy that he put into place. And has been something that we have warned officers not to do for the past several years.

SILVERMAN: Public reaction on Twitter has been mixed, but everyone's responded in 140 characters or less.

For NPR News, I'm Lauren Silverman in Dallas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.