NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Thousands of present and former law enforcement officials find themselves caught in the crosshairs. Their names — and home addresses — are popping up on web sites after they were given out by the New York State Police, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer has learned exclusively.
Frank Shea is a much decorated former NYPD homicide cop who’s seen his share of gun battles. Now he’s worried about being caught in yet another one, only this time it could be a shot he might not expect from one of the criminals he’s sent to jail.
“There’s no question in my mind that at some point it’s going to cost somebody their life,” Shea said. “It’s one thing to say that a person works at 26 Federal Plaza or 1 Police Plaza, but when you put it on-line that the person lives at so and so address and describes their family situation in some of these cases, it’s unconscionable.”
Shea is referring to the fact that web sites have recently been popping up with the names of thousands of law enforcement officials — and where they live, people who have arrested terrorists, murderers, gang members, drug dealers, all of whom with a motive for revenge. Ironically, the data comes from the New York State Police listings of people with gun permits.
And what’s even scarier is that it’s not just uniformed police officers whose names and home addresses are now on the Web.
“There are district attorney’s names on these lists who prosecuted some of the most violent criminals in the history of the United States. You have police officers who were deep undercover. Federal agents who worked deep undercover,” Shea said.
Lawyer Kenneth Mollins represents a number of former law enforcement officials who are trying to get Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support a law blocking the state police from making pistol permit information public.
He also wants the state to force the websites to take the information down.
“If you make the dissemination of the information illegal you can go in and you can confiscate the website,” Mollins said.
Mollins said in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden it’s even more important to act.
“If the Navy SEALs retired from the Navy, the ones that just got Osama bin Laden and have a pistol in New York, their home addresses and their names if they ever become public will be out there,” Mollins said.
A spokesman for the governor said he is reviewing the matter.
A spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association points out that victims of stalkers or domestic abuse are also at risk. She said the database will provide a quote “lighted pathway” for those who seek to harm them.
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