Missourians who have tipped the county about violating rule offenders fear retaliation after details are released
Hundreds of people have been exposed for reporting people who have violated social distance rules, and some are now worried they might get a response.
The names and addresses of approximately 900 people in Missouri have been released as part of a media request under the Sunshine Law, which allows the release of information provided to a government agency (except for misconduct and abuse tips).
St. Louis County had urged the community to share details of anyone who did not follow the guidelines in response to the coronavirus pandemic and noted in the terms that information may be shared publicly.
Some people may not have read the fine print tips from the end of March through an online form and email.
Many had asked for their communications to remain private.
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Tipster Patricia (pictured) – who didn’t want her last name mentioned – said in a video interview that she believes the personal information should have been edited from public records released
The names and addresses of more than 900 people were shared as part of an archive request from a journalist
Still, the documents published online ended up being shared on social media, and a man, Jared Totsch, helped spread it further when he posted in a Facebook group, “ Here ya go. The gallery of snitches, meddles and employees who rape their own neighbors and employers about the panic demic. ‘
Complaints led to 29 companies receiving citations in April, and now people fear they may be fired due to reporting the company they work for or other people may get revenge.
“I’m not just concerned about COVID, I’m worried about someone coming to my door, coming to work, or getting fired for doing the right thing,” said a tipster named Patricia KSDK.
“If something happens next time, I don’t feel safe or protected enough to call the local authorities.”
Patricia has Lupus and two other people in her household have autoimmune diseases that put them at great risk of becoming seriously ill or dying, they get a coronavirus.
“We are in a society where doing good is not always rewarded,” she said. “We have to be extra careful because we don’t have the strength to fight this.
St. Louis County had urged the community to share details of anyone who did not follow the guidelines in response to the March coronavirus pandemic
Many tipers asked to keep their information private, and after more than 900 tips submitted, 29 companies were reprimanded
“I saw many non-essential companies open and outside, parking lots full as if the order didn’t matter. And that was quite frustrating. ‘
Patricia – who didn’t want her last name mentioned – said in a video interview that she believed the personal information should have been redacted.
St. Louis County’s communications director, Doug Moore, explained that they should not edit.
“In this particular case, our county advisor office has consulted with the [attorney general]’s office about releasing the list of those who had filed complaints against companies in the county,’ said Moore. “We were told that all information was public and that we are not allowed to edit (except HIPAA information).
“Withholding information goes against what journalists push us – as transparent as possible.”
Totsch, who shared the information on social media, said he had first seen it in another group.
He showed no regrets and admitted that he had published the information to prevent people from reporting companies and individuals during the pandemic in the future.
Jared Totsch shared the document with a Facebook group, calling it a ‘snitch gallery’
Totsch said, “I released the information in an attempt to discourage such behavior in the future.”
“If they were concerned about retaliation, they should have read the fine print saying their tips would be public if a Sunshine request was made, and shouldn’t have been giving tips that way at first,” Totsch wrote. “I released the information in an attempt to discourage such behavior in the future.”
When asked what he thought of some who might lose their jobs because their email had been published, Totsch had the impression it would be deserved.
“I would call it poetic justice, instant Karma, a dose of their own medicine. What goes around comes around, “Tosch wrote. “They are now experiencing the same pain they have caused to those they have complained about.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was forced to temporarily close his corona virus ‘snitch hotline’ last month as the service was flooded with jokes, photos of genitals and memes that De Blasio looked like Adolf Hitler.
The Blasio had urged New Yorkers to send a text message to 311 to notify anyone who breaks the state’s social waiver or home command rules.
However, the response didn’t go quite as planned, as disadvantaged audience members criticized the hotline’s ‘tyrannical reach’ and within hours reports of contempt for the Blasio were overrun.
Such posts include photos of outstretched middle fingers and links to articles about the Blasio breaking his own social distance instructions when he was seen at a gym in mid-March, after the corona virus outbreak had already devastated the city.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Lt. Meulenberg said last month that the department’s call volume has increased significantly, with residents scolding both businesses and neighbors, although not all of them can respond.
A bar owner said more than a dozen motorcyclists showed up unannounced, but he served them a round to celebrate a birthday anyway.
Another live-streamed a drag queen show on Facebook while up to 20 people drank in the closed bar and ignored the police when they knocked on the door.
Both were arrested – and given felony statements and judicial data – after police responded to tips that the bars violated the mayor’s order to shut down all non-essential companies to slow down the spread of the corona virus.
In some places, police officers patrol the street looking for offenders.
According to a city spokesperson, Alton Dillard, a team that maintains Shelter’s command on the spot has released five quotes – including to Hobby Lobby and a Game Stop franchise that claimed it was essential – and over 600 warnings to businesses and individuals. The team also patrols in neighborhoods, parks, and recreation areas.
In Newark, New Jersey, the police shut down 15 companies overnight and recruited 161 people for violating the governor’s restrictions, saying others would be next if they didn’t follow the guidelines. And the Maryland state police said they had conducted nearly 6,600 business and crowd compliance audits.
In Chicago, a yoga studio that thought it was qualified as an essential health and wellness service was closed after the city – on the advice of several residents – disagreed. Teacher Naveed Abidi of Bikram Yoga West Loop studio said that he thought the studio could remain open if the space was cleaned, the class was limited and the students stayed far enough apart.
Chicago police even wound up a funeral on Sunday after seeing a group of up to 60 people, many elderly, gathered at a church, said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Gwen Becker, Naugatuck, Connecticut, said she was “ mortified ” as she drove past a golf course and saw a crowd gathering around a food truck and eating at tables together. So she took a video her friend posted on Facebook – the mayor asked to quit the course.