Update, 3/24/15, 11:36 a.m. Zach Tumin has once again made his account public after an ill-conceived message about police shootings of mentally ill suspects that got some backlash in the Twitterverse. The NYPD’s social-media master hid his account from the public for about six days, but then got back on the Twitter bandwagon with a tweet about women veterans. The original post is below.
Zach Tumin, the NYPD’s social-media guru, has apparently un-socialized his own media after putting his electronic foot in his digital mouth on Monday.
Tumin got himself in some trouble when he offered his thoughts on the connection between mental illness and police shootings. Tweeting from his personal account (@zachtumin), which identifies him as the Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Initiatives, he was pilloried after writing “this is a real problem, evrywhre…People off their meds r losing it &wlking into police bullets.”
Tumin was reacting to a study by the Treatment Advocacy Center that examined “justifiable homicides” involving police officers and found that at least half of people killed in police encounters suffered from mental illness.
Tumin apologized pretty quickly, saying he’d actually been trying to make a point about treatment for the mentally ill, not suggesting they were to blame for fatal encounters. According to the Daily News, he told another user, “It was a mangled way to say that encounters btw cops &the mentally ill take training, svcs,&treatment to keep all safe.”
An inelegant way to make the point, to be sure. But hey, he walked it back and apologized — no harm, no foul, right? So why go underground? After all, it’s certainly not the first NYPD social-media screw-up. We’re not sure. It may have to do with the fact that he’s still taking some flak for the comment even two days later.
— Ken Simon (@KenSimonSays) March 4, 2015
If the NYPD would like a media guy w/ more credibility than @zachtumin, I hear Baghdad Bob is still looking for work…
— Dan Holzman-Tweed (@HolzmanTweed) March 4, 2015
@ZachTumin should resign immediately citing a loss of humanity!
— Larry Featherly (@LarryFeatherly) March 4, 2015
We’ve reached out to Tumin — and asked to be added to his double-secret list of Twitter followers — and will update if we hear back.