An investigation has been launched after it emerged that confidential police records – including documents about Mitt Romney’s motorcade – were used as confetti at the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City.The shredded documents rained down on thousands of parade-goers who lined the streets to watch the parade near Central Park on New York’s Upper West Side on Thursday.
Closer inspection revealed that the shredded strips of paper were still readable and contained details about serving police officers, including their names, social security numbers and bank details as well as references to crimes that took place in the area.
The documents appear to have originally belonged to the Nassau County Police Department, which polices parts of Long Island, just outside New York City.
Some of the confetti strips include references to former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s motorcade, presumably related to the fact that the second presidential debate took place at Hofstra University in Nassau County last month.
Ethan Finkelstein, a university student, was watching the parade when he and a friend noticed a strip of confetti on her coat.
He told the Pix11 television news channel: “It landed on her shoulder, and it says ‘SSN’ and it’s written like a social security number, and we’re like, ‘That’s really bizarre.'”
Mr Finkelstein, 18, said he and his friends picked up other pieces of confetti and found more apparent police records.
“There are phone numbers, addresses, more social security numbers, licence plate numbers and then we find all these incident reports from police.
“I’m just completely in shock. How could someone have this kind of information, and how could it be distributed at the Thanksgiving Day Parade?” Inspector Kenneth Lack, from the Nassau County Police Department, said: “The Nassau County Police Department is very concerned about this situation. We will be conducting an investigation into this matter as well as reviewing our procedures for the disposing of sensitive documents.”
It was, however, suggested that the confetti had perhaps been thrown from a window overlooking the parade route.
A spokesman for Macy’s, the parade’s sponsor, said that they used: “commercially manufactured, multicoloured confetti, not shredded paper.”
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