The Columbia Journalism Review ran a story today asserting that the NYPD did not close airspace above Zuccotti Park to news choppers during the raid. That intel has been widely reported and was originally tweeted by Reuters social media guru Anthony De Rosa:
Erika Fry at CJR found that the NYPD doesn’t actually have the power to close airspace — that’s up to the FAA.
The NYPD sent Fry a strongly-worded email in all caps: “NYPD CANNOT , AND DID NOT CLOSE AIR SPACE. ONLY FAA CAN DO THAT. NO INDICATION IT DID.”
CJR’s reporting amounts to proving that the NYPD does not have the power to officially close airspace. There’s no further digging to find out whether airspace was indeed closed, or whether the NYPD has more it could be telling us here. All we can surmise is the the NYPD didn’t order the closing, if such a closing occurred.
Fry writes that “It appears that there was either some sort of miscommunication or, more troubling, a misunderstanding by CBS and much of the media about what the NYPD has the power to do–and tell them to do with their helicopters.”
It appears that there was a misunderstanding. But Fry never gets into exactly what it was, instead cautioning the media to be careful about getting their facts right, which should go without saying. The NYPD doesn’t get much of a challenge with this one. If they didn’t ban the news copters, why weren’t they there?