People Aren’t 100% Comfortable With Getting Emergency Phone Alerts About Khan Rahami


This morning just before 8:00 a.m. EST, cell phones throughout New York City’s five boroughs and the surrounding areas started making a very grating sound.

It was immediately recognizable as the sort of noise that usually indicates an AMBER Alert has been issued or maybe really severe weather is on the way, but when New Yorkers picked up their phones to see what the fuss was about, they saw a new kind of message. What was written on the home screen of every cell phone in the city was unprecedented. For the first time ever, the government used an emergency alert to tell the public about a possibly armed suspect on the run. That suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, was wanted for questioning about the explosions that took place over the weekend.

It had the intended sobering effect…

…but a lot of people were not happy to have their phones used like that. There was immediate outcry over the lack of details in the notification. It only included the suspect’s name. There was no license plate number, there was no picture, and there was no identifying information beyond his name, which only hints at his ethnic origins. There was concern that innocent men who look like they have a similar background could be targeted.

Some people just made jokes. There will always be those who just make jokes. 

Rahami was caught this morning in New Jersey. Whether it had anything to do with the terrifying alert remains to be seen.

[image via screengrab]

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