Phase two of the Dunphy Inquiry has concluded with the second portion being a one day symposium featuring public input and discussion. During a session yesterday afternoon, talk centered around how the public processes and reacts to an incident like the shooting death of Don Dunphy.
Panelist and Lawyer for the ad hoc coalition for civil liberties, William Hiscock described a collective sense of apprehension felt amongst the general public when they learn the circumstances surrounding Dunphy’s death. A member of the Premier’s Protective Services Unit visited Dunphy, at home, on Easter Sunday of 2015 after a concerning twitter post.
Hiscock explains “the chilling effect.”
Hiscock says the chilling effect results in people feeling non-legal impediments to free speech. He says a person would be fearful about speaking their mind on social media because they may face negative repercussions.
Hiscock says Dunphy’s death has created an awareness about using social media and calls for definitive guidelines for citizens and police.
Hiscock says what you say on social media, unlike what is said at the bar can attract a lot more attention from the authorities. The public needs to know where the line that produces a police officer at the door is and it must be clear. He says only something very close to a criminal threat before a home visit is made.