After a recent shooting in Covina, California (Los Angeles County), protesters showed up at the residence of the police officer involved, demanding that he be charged for the fatal shooting of Andrew Guardado. The incident is an unfortunate loss of life. And the investigation is still ongoing. But it begs the question – how did the protesters know where he lived? Seems nowadays, anyone can find you by running a simple online search.
Protesters connect in new ways using the internet and mobile technology
Internet activism (also known as online organizing and electronic advocacy – as defined on Wikipedia.com) is the use of electronic communication technologies. Social media, email, and podcasts to name a few, are helping activists achieve their objectives more readily and with speed and accuracy.
Assuming the protesters were able to find the officers home address online is frightful. When you show up to a private residence, it is no longer just about the officer, but puts the safety of the family in jeopardy as well. Imagine the fear of the officer and his family. What if he had children and they were outside playing in the yard? What if his mother lives with him and she was arriving home? So many things could go wrong.
Protect our communities
Protected by the First Amendment, the right to peacefully protest is one thing, but showing up to a law enforcement officers home seems to be taking things too far. It puts the lives of the officer and their families in danger.
One would hope that people think of their own families in such times and respect private homes and the communities in which they live.