New York cops, on the hunt for a source of leaked police photographs, have subpoenaed the Twitter account of a journalist at the New York Post.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) sought access to the Twitter data of New York Post police bureau chief Tina Moore after the reporter displayed an almost uncanny knack for sniffing out photos of the latest scoops.
In a subpoena dated December 9, police demanded that Twitter turn over information connected to the account @tinamoorereport from October 9 to October 14, 2019.
Around that period, Moore tweeted a series of gory crime scene photos depicting a massacre in a Harlem gambling den that left three dead and four injured.
Twitter was ordered to give the police access to all email accounts, servers, and internet protocol addresses associated with Moore’s social media account, along with info on any connected devices.
Strangely, the Patriot Act—a post-9/11 anti-terrorism piece of legislature—was cited as a reason for Twitter to comply with the request.
Police told Twitter not to inform anyone about the subpoena for 90 days after its date of issue. Disclosing its existence could, they said, impede the course of any investigation.
Twitter appears to have ignored this advice, however, as the subpoena ended up in the hands of the New York Post, which published the document in full on its website on Thursday, February 13.
The NYPD withdrew the subpoena on Wednesday after lawyers from the Post contacted the department.
“We are conducting an investigation to identify the person who leaked crime scene photos,” said the NYPD in a statement.
“Tina Moore was never the focus of our investigation.”
The wording of the subpoena implied that the police were more interested in obtaining information about the devices that Moore used to connect to Twitter than in discovering information regarding the account itself.
News that Moore’s records had been the subject of a subpoena came just days after the NYPD placed two officers on modified duty for allegedly leaking video of a dramatic shooting incident that took place inside a Bronx station house.
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