WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. ‒ More than 30 law enforcement officers assembled Tuesday outside the Westchester County Courthouse demanding that The Journal News remove its interactive map showing the names and addresses of pistol license holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.
The officers are members of the Affiliated Police Association, an organization that has members in 53 law enforcement groups in the region. Its vice president, Robert Buckley led chants of "Shame on you," and "Take down the list, " and said he has "grave concerns for any person that has a gun permit."
CynDee Royle, vice president/news and executive editor of The Journal News, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino also called on the newspaper Tuesday to take down the map. He acknowledged that the newspaper had the right to request the information under the state Freedom of Information Law but said he made the request based on safety concerns.
"It demonized individuals who did nothing wrong, violated their privacy and potentially put them and their families ‒ especially victims of domestic violence and current and former judges and law enforcement officials ‒ in harm's way," he said in a statement.
The police group said it will hold The Journal News accountable if any of its members are targeted as a result of being on named on the map. When asked what specific action it would take, Buckley said the group would pursue legal action or any other remedy available to it.
Since publishing the map Dec. 23, employees of The Journal News have received harassing phone calls. Suspicious packages have also been sent to its headquarters in White Plains, as well as to Royle's home. None of the packages or letters contained harmful material, police have said.