The New York City Police Department has assigned police officers to guard the Manhattan offices of at least three media outlets—Gawker Media, BuzzFeed, and The Daily Beast—in direct response to the deadly shooting at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo on January 7. Two officers assigned to Gawker’s offices in Nolita confirmed today that the N.Y.P.D. has ordered special protection of media outlets in light of the massacre.
It is not clear whether the N.Y.P.D. has assigned dedicated patrols to outlets that chose not to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, such as The New York Times. One of the officers assigned to Gawker said the security initiative pertained to “media” but did not name any outlets that chose not to publish the cartoons. The same officer said the department was not acting on specific threats against any of the outlets. (We’ve reached out to the N.Y.P.D. press office and will update when we hear back.)
Gawker COO Scott Kidder sent out a memo to staff today alerting us of the patrols:
I want to send a note to let you know that the NYPD has advised us that they’re increasing patrols of media companies in light of some of the activity in Europe—and so you may see an increased police presence outside 210 Elizabeth Street.
There is no specific (or general) threat against Gawker. And for the record, if we received any specific threat, we’d share that with you.
We continue to evaluate our security, both in the current and new office. If you have any specific concerns, please feel free to speak to your department head, Heather, and/or myself.
To the best of any of our memory, this is the first time the N.Y.P.D. has actively increased patrols of Gawker’s offices, despite several previous incidents involving specific threats.
Update: According to Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky, the N.Y.P.D. briefly increased security of our office in 2012 after Gawker’s John Cook published a public document containing the names of New York City residents licensed to own a handgun.