Dorner manhunt: San Bernardino Sheriff's asks media to stop tweeting, media rebel

San Bernardino County's District Attorney's Office tweets that the sheriff's department has asked all members of the press to stop tweeting immediately as it could affect officer safety in the search for Dorner.
San Bernardino County's District Attorney's Office tweets that the sheriff's department has asked all members of the press to stop tweeting immediately as it could affect officer safety in the search for Dorner.

There was a side story to Tuesday's Big Bear manhunt and shootout with suspected murderer and fugitive ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner. It was a request — believed to be unprecedented in Southern California — for media outlets to stop using Twitter to track the continuing manhunt, for fear of officer safety. 

As events played out on local and cable television news, "Big Bear," "SWAT team" and "cabin" made it to the top of Twitter's national trending list. #Dorner was at the top of the trends list in Los Angeles.

That prompted the department to issue its unusual request late Tuesday afternoon: Please stop tweeting.

Why? KPCC placed a call to the department to ask why, but hasn't received a response yet. The tweet, and subsequent tweets thanking news outlets that complied, have been deleted.

It's possible the department wanted to preserve the tactical secrets of its officers and those of other law enforcement agencies believed to be convening on the cabin where Dorner was presumed to be holed up — and, presumably, monitoring events outside via social media or TV. (The department also asked TV helicopters to back out of the area so as not to reveal deputy deployments.)

Some media outlets — such as CBS TV affiliates — complied with the request to resist tweeting. Others — like KPCC — did not.

Following are some of the tweets in response to the department's request.

What do you think of the request? Do you think it was an attempt by a law enforcement agency to manage the media reports of its actions? Or do you think it was a legitimate attempt to protect the safety of its officers in a perilous situation? Sound off in the comments below.

 

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