Anonymous hackers released the personal information of 52 Cincinnati police officers as retaliation for the Paul Gaston fatal police shooting earlier this month. The “hacktivist” group deemed the shooting of a black man with an airsoft toy gun was murder. The hackers said that Paul Gaston never pointed the toy gun at police, but a white man with a similar replica gun did just that a day earlier, and lived.
The Anonymous Anon Verdict hackers posted the Cincinnati Police Department video to YouTube on Sunday. The personal information of the 52 Cincinnati police officers included details about everyone from entry-level patrolmen up to Police Chief Eliot Isaac.
Anonymous Releases Details Of 52 Cincinnati Police Officers And Video Of Paul Gaston Shooting
The Cincinnati Police Department is currently investigating the Anonymous hacking of the personal information of 52 officers, according to a report by the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Ohio law enforcement department is reviewing the situation in an effort to determine potential risk to the officers and to discover any security breach to their system — while looking to unearth who is responsible for the cyber attack. According to CPD Lt. Steve Saunders, it currently appears that the information about the officers could have been ascertained via their social media accounts and public records.
— WKBN 27 First News (@WKBN) February 22, 2016
Here’s an excerpt from the transcript from the Anonymous Cincinnati Police Department video.
“Greetings world, we are Anonymous Anon Verdict. The following clip you are about to see are three separate cell phone clips of Cincinnati Police Department murdering a black man named Paul Gaston while he held his hands up on February 17th. With the evidence provided it is quite obvious that he was complying and had his hands in the air. Just a day before this shooting in the Cincinnati Metropolitan area this man was accused of pointing this replica at police. He lived… But John Crawford, Tamir Rice, and now Paul Gaston didn’t. How does one man point a fake pistol at a cop and live while another man doesn’t, but is killed execution style?”
The Anonymous 52 Cincinnati police officers video went on to deem law enforcement officers both at the southwestern Ohio department and around the country, as a “gang known as the Thin Blue Line.” The hacktivists claimed that police officers have murdered Americans without giving them due process in the justice system.
— Counter Current News (@CCN_Updates) February 19, 2016
The personal information about the 52 Cincinnati police officers reportedly contained their names and addresses, email addresses, ages, and social media account usernames. The names and addresses of relatives of some of the officers was also shared by Anonymous.
— Anonymous Operations (@AnonOpsSE) February 21, 2016
The cellphone footage of the Paul Gaston shooting shared in the Anonymous video was reportedly taken by bystanders from three different angles. Cincinnati police officers said Gaston was reaching for something that appeared to be a gun. Anonymous and some witnesses said his hands were raised and he never reached for anything before being shot.
A New York Daily News report referenced the incident involving a white man, Christopher Luagle, reaching for a toy gun the day before the fatal police shooting. The encounter, which did not result in any injuries to either the suspect or the police, happened in the town of Mount Healthy. The report, written by Shaun King, alleges that the Paul Gaston and Christopher Luagle incidents prove that “double standards” exist when police officers are put into similar situations, depending upon the race of the suspects.
Police officials staunchly maintain the incidents with Paul Gaston and Christopher Luagle were vastly different. In Mount Healthy, the officers were reportedly told the gun the suspect had was fake and the replica firearm featured an orange tip — a marking placed on all toy guns. There was reportedly no orange tip on Gaston’s gun.
According to the Cincinnati Police Department report, Paul Gaston wrecked his vehicle into a pole and a 911 caller told the dispatcher that he stumbled out of the car, dropped his gun, then picked up the weapon and took off running down the street.
It took less than half an hour for Cincinnati police to locate Gaston, 37, and the fatal shooting occurred. Officers said the suspect reached into his waistband and brought out what appeared to be a real handgun. The officers also reported that the suspect was on his knees with his hands behind his head before he moved to reach for the airsoft gun.
What do you think about the Paul Gaston shooting and the Anonymous Cincinnati Police Department video?
[Image via Shutterstock]