Privacy Rights on Steroids
NYPD released footage of a burglar in action. A homeowner’s security camera caught a burglar at work. The burglar broke into an apartment and eventually made off with $14,000 in jewelry. He did all this under the watchful eye of the family dog. The video is at the link.
There are good reasons to publish the video of the event. People watching may be able to identify the suspect. It is not uncommon for videos portraying suspects to include potential witnesses or bystanders. Often when that happens, the police obscure the images of extraneous people. This serves two purposes, it protects the identity of the witnesses and it focuses the attention on the offender.
For reasons best known to themselves, NYPD obscured the image of the dog. Were they afraid that the viewing public would be confused? Witnesses unable to differentiate between man and dog are probably not going to be the most credible.
Could it be that NYPD was trying to protect the reputation of the dog. Was the pixelating of the dog an effort to spare it embarrassment, for failing in its dog duties?
I suspect that the answer is more mundane. Bureaucratic protocols call for the identity of witnesses and uninvolved persons to be obscured. The dog witnessed the burglary, therefore his identity was obscured.
In my day we called this “malicious obedience.” It doesn’t have to make sense, just do it.