Man issued apology only after family speaks up

To the editor,

The Saco Police Department issued a much owed an apology to a 74-year-old Biddeford man who they publicly accused of theft. They posted his photo on their Facebook page before thoroughly investigating a matter, which, it turns out, had absolutely nothing to do with him.

The original post had more than 50 shares on it, embarrassing this man and his family. When police realized he wasn’t part of a theft of lottery tickets in Saco, they merely posted that the matter had been resolved. Only after family contacted the police department did they take down the post. When the family asked for an apology, the detective refused, citing the Freedom of Access Act. After threatening to get a lawyer involved, the Saco Police Department issued this statement:

“Earlier this week, we posted a picture on our Facebook page as part of a suspected theft investigation. The Saco Police Department apologizes to the individual who was pictured as they were not involved with the theft in any way.

The information obtained from the State of Maine Liquor & Lottery Commission was incorrect and the time stamp on the local store video was also wrong, leading to the erroneous posting.

We have spoken with this individual separately and offered our sincerest apologies.”

Why are police oftentimes allowed cause damage like this without repercussions? This man received an apology because his family spoke up. How often do circumstances like these slip by because no one is brave enough to speak up?

Molly Lovell-Keely

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