PUBLIC SAFETY: A retired New Jersey State Police major who helped ignite a viral tidal wave said his boss hopes to draw attention to iPhone cases that look like gun grips out of fear that someone could get killed.
“It’s a horrible accident waiting to happen,” Ocean County Prosecutor’s Public Affairs Director Al Della Fave told CLIFFVIEW PILOT. “It’s not a stretch to think a police officer could think someone is pulling a gun on them.”
“Most kids carry their phones in their back pockets,” he added. “The only think sticking out with these cases is the grip — typical draw position.
“Think of the danger for all of those involved — the kid, the cop, bystanders.”
Della Fave said he first saw the cases on a Facebook page for retired state troopers, part of a movement by law enforcement and anti-gun advocates to ban the cases, which are sold on Amazon.com through a third-party distributor.
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato immediately agreed on the need to spread the word on his office’s Facebook page, he said.
“Please folks – this cell phone case is not a cool product or a good idea,” the post on Coronado’s Facebook page says. “A police officer[‘]s job is hard enough, without having to make a split second decision in the dark of night when someone decides without thinking to pull this out while stopped for a motor vehicle violation. What do you think?”
“Protect your phone from scratches, shocks and collisions,” the web page says. “Moreover, make your mobile phone shining and special.”
The grip cases for the iPhone 5 and 6 come in black, white and pink and list for $10 to $49.
As if that weren’t bad enough, an app produces a screen image that allows the user to align the sight.
“The money that is earned from the sale of this case is blood money earned from the blood of the person who is foolish enough to carry it,” said Patrick Lynch, president of the NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
“Saturday Night Live” in the 70s had a recurring bit called “Consumer Probe” that featured dangerous toys for children — such as “Bag ‘O Glass,” “Pretty Peggy’s Ear Piercing Kit” and “Mr. Skin Grafter.”
“The difference with these cases is it’s no joke,” Della Fave said.
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