Arrest of man charged with stalking Raleigh officer sparks call for more police protections

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After a Raleigh man was charged with stalking a police officer, there are calls for more protections for officers’ personal information.

Jonathan Canfield, 23, is accused of stalking two people. Sources confirm to CBS 17 one is an RPD officer.

According to warrants for his arrest, Canfield drove by a home on more than one occasion. Warrants say he knew “the harassment would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of the persons immediate family and close personal associates.”

“I have a history of watching the police with a camera. Legally. I wasn’t trying to do anything illegal,” said Canfield.

Canfield says officers live in his neighborhood, and he sees them when walking or driving by.

John Midgette, the executive director of the NC Police Benevolent Association, says current state laws do protect the release of certain personal information to the public from a police officer’s personnel file.

“Unfortunately, under the guise of transparency, certain groups are attempting to obtain officer personnel files for there own self serving interests. While we support transparency, no legitimate request for transparency can exist without accountability and fairness,” said Midgette in a statement.

Midgette says legislative measures to protect an officer’s personal information have produced mixed results. He says the current laws can’t keep up with changing technology.

“This latest case exemplifies our concerns and long standing objections to the release of these files that contravenes policy, procedure and law,” said Midgette. “That said, more protections; not less need to be legislated to protect our officers as modern technology is outpacing our ability to protect our officers and their families.”

Retired NYPD officer Bob Young says riots and protests aren’t new to him, but tensions between police officers and some community members is at a high.

“To be honest with you it’s gone to a new level. I haven’t really seen that with protesters,” said Young.

Young, who worked an FBI task force on threats against public figures, also wants to see more done to protect officers’ personal information.

“Now that officer has to worry about people coming to his house to threaten his family,” he said.

RPD said it couldn’t comment on the ongoing investigation when asked if any extra steps are in place to protect the officer.

Canfield was twice arrested and charged with simple assault at a protest in Raleigh in March, and in November after a protest in Pittsboro.

Canfield is due back in court next month.

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