The Tampa Police Department claims reporters didn't tell the whole story after the Tampa Bay Times published an investigation into the department.
The investigation: Journalists Chris O'Donnell and Ian Hodgson reported that a TPD program started under former police chief and current mayor Jane Castor urged landlords to evict hundreds of mostly Black tenants after arrests.
- But families still lost their homes even after charges were dropped.
- The story opens with a family who lost their home after a 16-year-old stole $4.44 in change, a glove, a flashlight, a hoodie and wireless headphones.
- The program, meant to target "documented violent offenders, gang members or career criminals" led to the eviction of those with misdemeanors even if charges didn't stick.
The other side: TPD's Twitter account has been replying to the Times and O'Donnell's tweets about the article with videos they say tell a different story.
- In the department's videos, two Robles Park residents describe the neighborhood as having "glass everywhere, shootings, fights, a lot of drug dealers," before the program.
- Now, one resident said, "It's like a new day. The dealers are gone. Thank you, TPD. … Thank you Tampa Housing Authority."
Selene's thought bubble: Police departments don't usually clap back to journalists on social media, especially not to go out of the way to get citizens to speak.
- Police may be trying to show the positive effects of their program, but it also makes them seem intimidated by the Times' report.
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