Controversial NYPD Twitter Feed Vindicated As Convicted Criminals Reoffend

The New York Police Department’s 76th Precinct Captain Jeffrey Schiff had a novel and controversial idea: tweeting pictures of convicted criminals when they were released.

The tweets didn’t last long as he was criticized for the practice by higher-ups.

But guess what? Two of the career criminals whose photos he shared have already reoffended since the December 2012 tweets were sent. Looks like Captain Schiff was on to something.

Maybe it was Schiff’s unapologetic attitude that rubbed his superiors the wrong way when it came to this Twitter topic – but it’s pretty awesome none-the-less:

The practice [of tweeting convicted criminals photos] is at least unsettling to civil liberties activists like Legal Aid, which is considering a lawsuit. “If they want to sue, let them sue. They’ll lose,” Schiff said. “It’s all public information, I’m just making it easier for you. Once a person is convicted, all the gloves come off, and that’s it.”

But almost as soon as it started, the tweets (with photos) from the @76PrecinctNYPD Twitter stream stopped.

And now, we learn from the New York Daily News that maybe they shouldn’t have.

Two men he warned the public about were arrested within weeks of their release. One on drug possession charges and the other was arrested “for stealing packages that had been delivered to homes along 2nd Place in Carroll Gardens. Police say he was seen pushing a shopping cart carrying women’s clothing that was wrapped in plastic and addressed to a neighborhood resident.”

“He was literally shopping for people’s property,” said one police source.

Sounds like it would’ve been handy for neighbors to have his photo in mind, hmm?

But what do you think? Should they have stopped sharing these photos? And would you like to be alerted to convicted criminals being released in YOUR neighborhood?

Let us know how you feel about this in the comments.

(Prison image from Shutterstock)